The number of use cases for artificial intelligence continues to increase. In recent years, we have seen AI being deployed for gaming purposes and scientific research. A new project is taking things one step further, by using AI to protect crops against disease and pests. This is a major development to say the least, as harvesting crops is becoming more and more difficult these past few years.
AI Can Keep Your Crops Safe
It is quite interesting to see how different projects use artificial intelligence to improve our society. In the case of Monsanto, the reason for doing so is fairly straightforward. Crops can be reduced to nothing due to diseases and pests. Up until this point, there is no viable solution to successfully counter this problem in a convenient manner. This is where AI comes into the picture. The company feels this technology can make a positive impact.
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In fact, the company looks to deploy AI in such a way it will discover molecules capable of keeping crops safe from harm. More specifically, the AI solution will be able to predict the likelihood of individual molecules having the desired effect. By using deep learning algorithms, this technology will become better and smarter as more time progresses.
If this project turns out to be successful – which remains to be seen – it could help save the agricultural market a lot of money. Right now, developing a countermeasure to keep crops safe from disease costs around $250m. It also takes nearly a dozen years before such a solution can be deemed market-ready. There is no reason to pay so much money and waste a lot of time when more convenient and cheaper solutions are available in the form of artificial intelligence.
Although this solution sounds quite promising, there are those who are concerned regarding this development. That is only to be expected, as merging technology with agriculture is a big risk. There is no guarantee this AI solution will work by any means, yet it is still an area worth exploring. If successful, this solution could help the agricultural industry get rid of diseases and pests once and for all. That is, until they evolve into more powerful threats which can’t be countered so easily.
It is evident artificial intelligence can be a powerful ally for the agricultural industry as a whole. Projects like these will slowly but surely provide scientists with valuable insights regarding benign bacteria and how they can be used in the industry moving forward. There is a lot about these diseases and pests we do not know about just yet, and there is no harm in using technology to analyze these threats and provide scientists with more information.
In the end, this solution is designed to reduce the number of potential natural candidates to prevent diseases down to a small list of promising solutions. Right now, scientists have to analyze molecules one at a time, which is very time-consuming. AI can look at all of the data more quickly and make a risk-free assessment a lot quicker. It is unclear when this trial will begin, and how long it will take. One thing’s for sure, though: AI will make an impact on agriculture in one way or another.
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