As agriculture has evolved over more than 10,000 years, farmers have constantly been searching for ways to increase yields and improve efficiency. Now, they could be set to benefit from one of the biggest innovations in decades, as artificial intelligence is increasingly applied on farms around the world.
A farmer's success has always depended on their skill at forecasting; for millennia, farmers have made decisions, such as which crops to plant, based on their forecasts of growing conditions and market demand. Meanwhile, AI models, at their most basic level, are based on pattern recognition. Many AI apps are designed to digest much more data than humans and then analyze this data to make more accurate forecasts.
Will Kletter is vice president of operations and strategy at ClimateAI, a company that is using artificial intelligence in climate-risk modeling to help customers improve their resilience to climate change. He says that AI can provide "more accurate but also more localized" forecasts of climate trends. This can help agricultural investors select sites where particular crops will grow well or decide which crops are best suited to specific sites.
Kletter says that his clients often arrive at the same conclusions as the AI models but take far longer to collect and analyze data. "We're helping customers make faster decisions, with less waste, that ultimately helps them bring maybe a new seed variety or new food crop to market more quickly," he claims.
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