In a TechTalk at this years International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE), G. Leo Schilling, senior scientific services manager at Eurofins, provided insights into the transformative impact of artificial intelligence (AI) in the livestock and agriculture sectors. Schilling emphasized AI's role in automating processes, enhancing analysis, and streamlining supply chains in modern agriculture.
The presentation, titled "AI in Agriculture," outlined AI's evolution and its increasing prevalence in both industry and everyday life. Schilling explained AI's basic functions, including expert systems, natural language processing, and speech recognition and classified AI into four main categories: reactive machines, learning and managing machines, theory of mind machines, and self-aware machines. He also provided a historical overview of AI, mentioning significant milestones like IBM's Deep Blue and advancements in generative AI.
Focusing on agriculture, Schilling highlighted the progress from early techniques using horses and basic tools to the current use of software, robotics, and smart devices. He explained how data-driven farming utilizes satellite imagery, sensors, and drones for soil health analysis and optimal farming decision-making. AI's role in livestock production was also discussed, including its application in animal feed processes, health monitoring, and supply chain management.
However, Schilling cautioned about the challenges in AI implementation, such as ensuring accurate data collection, ethical concerns, data privacy, and job displacement. He stressed the importance of addressing these challenges for successful AI integration in agriculture.
The presentation concluded with an overview of major players in the AI agricultural sector, ranging from technology companies to research institutions, and a look at recent developments and future trends in AI farming. Schilling's talk highlighted AI's potential to revolutionize agriculture, making it more efficient, sustainable, and productive.