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Africa’s famine crisis is the gravest emergency since the Second World War according to the United Nations with six million people at risk of starvation in Somalia and 14 million more in South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen.
Once found, it sprays a strong fertilizer to kill the weed and fertilize the lettuce in one go.
Lettuce Bot’s company Blue River says its machine can reduce farmers’ use of chemicals by 90% and already supplies 10% of the lettuce in the US each year.
Consequently, the solution advised farmers to skip the planting season, saving them more than $3m in input costs.
Rather than judging the impact of artificial intelligence and machine learning on how well the likes of Siri respond to our voice commands, it is through tackling some of the world’s most pressing concerns that the new technologies will make a lasting impact.
Biologist David Hughes and epidemiologist Marcel Salathé are using deep learning to analyze 14 crops which are susceptible to 26 diseases.
When a computer was fed 50,000 enhanced images of crops it was able to correctly diagnose 99.35% of them.Potatoes not considered worthy of gourmet plates could still be used to make french fries or chips, or perhaps donated to food banks.The TOMRA machine uses Near Infra-Red spectroscopy to analyze the molecular structure of products while technologies such as x-rays can measure its elemental composition.As it is eloquently described here, rather than a minimal approach to pesticides it is more along the lines of carpet bombing.One solution to this is the Lettuce Bot which uses machine learning and a database of more than a million images to photograph 5,000 young plants a minute and identify each sprout as a lettuce or a weed.For instance, there are concerns over access to water, the distribution of food around the globe and the impact of conflicts which could affect supplies.Fortunately, thanks to innovations in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), we are closer to finding an answer to world hunger than ever before.A good place to start when it comes to feeding the world is to maximize the current output.According to the UK’s Institution of Mechanical Engineers, as much as half the world’s food (or two billion tonnes) ends up in the trash.This information is used as an early warning to help tackle impending crises.There has already been some success with 170 farmers in Colombia avoiding potentially crippling losses after machine learning algorithms revealed a drought on the horizon.