In this week’s Artificial Intelligence Bulletin – Robot Farmers and Famine we take a look at developments in agriculture and food supply – IBM’s decision platform for farmers, famine prediction, the Hands-free Hectare experiment, and applications and impact are presented.Meet the farmers of the future: RobotsAfter raising $6 million and tinkering with autonomous robots for two years, Alexander’s startup Iron Ox says it’s ready to start delivering crops of its robotically grown vegetables to people’s salad bowls. “And they are going to be the best salads you ever tasted,” says the 33-year-old Alexander, a one-time Oklahoma farmboy turned Google engineer turned startup CEO.Iron Ox planted its first robot farm in an 8,000-square-foot warehouse in San Carlos, California, a suburb located 25 miles south of San Francisco. Although no deals have been struck yet, Alexander says Iron Ox has been talking to San Francisco Bay area restaurants interested in buying its leafy vegetables and expects to begin selling to supermarkets next year.Read more at Yahoo and CNBCIBM to Launch Watson Decision Platform for AgriculturePaulman has 10,000 acres under cultivation in Nebraska and he generates one terabyte of data every month. IBM\u2019s new platform allows him to bring everything together on his phone so he has a powerful, unified view of his farm.For Paulman and other farmers, bringing AI to bear on data provides startling new powers. Growers can now film a field of corn from a drone and use AI-enabled visual recognition analysis to identify crop disease or a pest infestation. The app also allows the grower to photograph struggling plants up-close and identify the exact pest or disease. On Paulman\u2019s farm, an agronomist currently visits once a week to analyze infestations and blight. Now, with a simple photo, Paulman can immediately find out what type of insect is affecting his plants and he can take remediation action.\u201cThat means I can react in real-time and won\u2019t lose yield waiting for the agronomist,\u201d Paulman says. It also allows him to better target pesticide use, reducing environmental impact and lowering cost.I\u2019ve been waiting for something like this. They\u2019re not trying to sell me more fertilizer or machines. They don\u2019t have a horse in the race. It\u2019s a trust thing.Roric Paulman, FarmerRead more at PrecisionAgThis farm has no farmersJust after sunset on Sept. 6, 2017, celebrations erupted on a farm in the quiet county of Shropshire, England. After a year of hard labor and careful planning, researchers achieved the previously impossible: the world’s first fully automated harvest — from barren land to flourishing crops — had been successfully completed. The “Hands Free Hectare” used nothing but robots, and was yet another step forward in revolutionizing how we feed the world.After receiving \u00a3200,000 in government funding in October 2016, the team from Harper Adams University set to work modifying a tractor and 25-year-old combine with cameras, lasers and GPS systems. Drones aided in monitoring the field, while a robot “scout” scooped up soil samples for inspection.Previous studies on driverless tractors have used large machines to get the job done. But the Harper Adams team used another tactic: Their small tractor and combine were able to make more precise movements, limit damage to soil for future harvests and increase efficiency.Read more at CNetArtificial intelligence could prevent famines, says World Bank presidentJim Yong Kim, who has led the Bank since 2012, told reporters that AI could provide as much as six months warning to aid workers before a crisis.The World Bank is working with Microsoft, Amazon and Google on the famine-spotting system, known as Artemis. This tool can trawl through data – including weather reports, satellite information and even social media – and analyse it to draw conclusions.“This could actually end famines,” said Kim. “We are getting information well ahead of time instead of waiting until the fifth stage of famine…“What we’re talking about is going in prior to the first stage, getting pre-first-stage information… there are huge possibilities.”He was speaking at Stanford University in California, where students are helping to build the AI system. It is currently being tested in South Sudan, Niger, Mali, Chad and Somalia, and is planned to go live in “a small group of countries” by the middle of next year,\u00a0says\u00a0The Telegraph.Read more at V3AI in Agriculture \u2013 Present Applications and ImpactAgriculture is both a major industry and foundation of the economy. In 2016, the estimated value added by the agricultural industry was estimated at\u00a0just under 1 percent of the US GDP. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that agriculture contributes roughly\u00a0$330 billion in annual revenue\u00a0to the economy.Factors such as\u00a0climate change, population growth and food security concerns\u00a0have propelled the industry into seeking more innovative approaches to protecting and improving crop yield. As a result, AI is steadily emerging as part of the industry\u2019s technological evolution.Based on our research, the most popular applications of AI in agriculture appear to fall into three major categories:Agricultural RobotsCrop and Soil MonitoringPredictive AnalyticsRead more at TechEmergenceCalifornia Law Bans Bots From Pretending to Be HumanIn California, bots will need to identify themselves thanks to a new\u00a0bill\u00a0just signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown.The measure bans automated accounts from pretending to be real people in order to “incentivize a purchase or sale of goods or services in a commercial transaction or to influence a vote in an election,” effective July 1, 2019. Automated accounts will still be able to interact with users, but they will have to disclose that they are not, in fact, humans, according to\u00a0NBC.They can’t hide in the fine print either; the bill states that disclosures must be “clear, conspicuous, and reasonably designed,” which means it will probably have to appear in the bot’s Twitter bio or Facebook profile, for example.Read more at PC MagRelated Articles from Nikolas Badminton:Nikolas Badminton Discusses the Future of FarmingEnergy Revolutions – Solar Farms and RenewablesHire Nikolas Badminton, Futurist SpeakerNikolas is a world-leading Futurist Speaker that drives leaders to take action in creating a better world for humanity. 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