China is speeding up efforts in AI innovation and development, the first
artificial intelligence project has been launched in the country, assisting
farmers in planting decisions and crop protection. The middle kingdom wants to
become a leader in this technology, but especially AI in agriculture still
holds huge challenges.
October 2017, China has launched the first artificial intelligence (AI) project
in the field of agriculture and farming, called Brain of Agriculture. The
project starts with a system of a Precise Agricultural Platform, able to
execute 26 different functions in total. The project was officially launched in
Wuhan City, Hubei Province in China.
new system, using big data management technologies, cloud, computing, and super
artificial intelligence, is aiming to provide supporting data for effective
decision making of farmers. Factors that play an important role in the
calculation of Brain of Agriculture are soil and climate conditions,
as well as pest and diseases occurrences, which are monitored through sensors
on the field and from information, crawled from the internet.
benefits for farmers using the new agriculture AI are found
in best decision supporting of seeding, fertilisation of crops,
pesticide usage, harvesting, stockpile management, and the sales process in
general. After all, clients and buyers of agricultural products can also
monitor the growth and yield of their purchased crops to be always informed
about the status.
is putting a lot of effort into the development of AI, especially in the fields
of manufacturing and agriculture, in order to increase the efficiency of
production and lower the costs to keep up with the development of modern
agriculture in countries like the USA.
China is developing in an impressive speed in terms of innovation and
technology, a research from 2013 shows that about 86% of all farms in China
have just been small pieces of acres, mostly be worked on by elderly farmers by
hand. The government is tackling this problem by pushing private industries
into the agriculture sector to invest and develop corporate farms. AI will
definitely play an important role to modernize this system of agriculture and
support sufficient supply for the largest population in the world.
of Agriculture project is going to be enhanced in the next step with the
installation of sensors on all the agricultural equipment in cooperation of
more agricultural enterprises. In this context, data of the agricultural
resource elements can be shared, which maximises the utilisation efficiency of
all those. The project will further keep upgrading by establishing more data
models for big data analysis, and better facilitate China’s agricultural
Overview of AI used in
intelligence used in agriculture is showing an impressive path by becoming more
powerful in enable farmers to harvest better crops and be able to produce more
food out of the same acre.
example, researchers have recently developed an AI system that is capable of
identifying diseases and pest damage in crops, by comparing the plants with an
internal databank of thousands of pictures of plants with diseases. The
researchers claim that their system, that can be downloaded as an app, has a
98% accuracy rate in disease recognizing.
farmers are already using self-driving tractors that can plant seeds and spray
fertilisers over the acre without the need of a human driving it, or use tools
that collect data which can be used to assess crop health and monitor pest and
disease conditions during the season
in all, farm data is becoming both more rich and robust. The availability of
this data is paving the way to develop and deploy AI in agriculture.
according to Forbes, many of the major agricultural input companies, equipment
manufacturers, and service providers have not yet found their presence in the
fields of AI for agrotechnology.
of the biggest challenges for AI systems in agriculture is, that it takes a
long time to acquire the vast amount of data that is needed to build proper
systems. Valuable data in agricultural processes is mostly only available once
a year during the growing and harvesting season. Hence, it often takes many
years until some sufficient pool of data is established to be useful in AI.
Many startups are building decision automation tools while there still exist
large gaps in data collection, preparation, and benchmarking capabilities.
Development of AI in
State Council of China has issued a guideline on developing artificial
intelligence, setting a goal of becoming a global innovation centre in this
field by 2030. This shows the ambitions the country is putting into AI and how
it wants to lead the field. According to the issue, the total output value of
artificial intelligence industries should surpass USD147.80 billion by that
since developing AI is a complicated time and money consuming process, an open
and coordinated AI innovation system is in the centre of attention to develop
not only the technology but also products and market for AI.
major goals of artificial intelligence development in China are named to
promote the country’s technology, economy, social welfare, maintain national
security, and contribute to the world. In order to achieve this, the focus is
set on big data intelligence, multimedia aware computing, human-machine hybrid
intelligence, swarm intelligence and automated decision-making. Advanced
theories which can potentially transform AI should also be looked at, including
advanced machine learning, brain-like computing and quantum intelligent
all, the AI economy is going to be promoted. New industries using AI technology
should be developed, such as smart robot, smart vehicle, virtual
reality, augmented reality and smart terminal. Traditional industries should be
integrated with AI to develop smart manufacturing, agriculture, finance, logistics
to some recent report, AI I likely to increase China’s economic growth rate by
about 1.6 % points by the year of 2035. The industries, that are benefitting
the most from AI and get the most attention in researches are
manufacturing, agriculture and retail.
largest area of opportunity for AI in China’s
growth is manufacturing, though. The instrumentation of manufacturing
in the middle kingdom has literally just begun. Innovation in the technology
improvement is reaching from the Internet of Things, taking data and telemetry
off machines and manufacturing lines for greater productivity. According to
industry insiders, AI will have the largest impact
on labour-intensive sectors to become more productive over time by
allowing workers to focus on more critical tasks, while AI handles the more
intelligence has become the new focus of international competition. Many
countries are eager and investing large amounts of money to grasp the next
stage of AI development to create a new competitive advantage, open the
development of new industries and improve the protection of national security.
drones help already farmers scan fields, monitor crops and seeding or analyze
plant health. Farm activities can become much more effective when drone data,
IoT and computer vision technologies join forces to optimize strategies.
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