Artificial Intelligence for Digital Agriculture
Estimates say that by the year 2050 planet Earth will be home to 10 billion people and we will have to increase agricultural production for as much as 70 % if we want to feed all its inhabitants. We are already cultivating almost every piece of land we can and we are using ever larger quantities of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides. In this way, we are jeopardising our fragile eco-system which is passing through climate change and crisis caused by pollution. Still, there are reasons for optimism. There is a solution and it lies at a place we would hardly expect to find it – in artificial intelligence.
Sensors, robots, satellites, GPS and drones have become a part of everyday life and serve as invaluable sources of data about crop growth, soil type and weather conditions. Although each of them is very interesting on its own, these datasets are reaching their full potential only after we aggregate them and apply advanced AI algorithms. There is a harsh debate in the scientific community whether artificial intelligence will ever become creative like human and whether it will ever become self-aware. Answers to these questions which border science fiction will remain a mystery for a long time, but one thing is for sure. Today, in the 21st century, information technologies are allowing us to comprehend large amounts of data and extract hidden knowledge about agricultural production and processes happening inside the plants.
BioSense is a research & development institute which deals with the application of IT in biosystems and it is home to the Centre for Information Technologies. Our centre conducts research in the area of applied artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics in agriculture. Its members are young and creative scientists, who will be the leading force of the Institute in the years to come. Dragon project’s aim is to help ambitious juniors become experts and to increase the scientific and innovation capacity of the Centre for Information Technologies, which will through this project become a renowned and independent research centre capable of offering high-tech innovations to European science and industry.. Our key partners on Dragon are two institutions renowned for their excellence in IT/agri sector: Wageningen University from the Netherlands and Agri-EPI centre from Scotland. They will provide scientific and technical support for our research and organisation of workshops, summer school, research visits and other events which gather industry and academia and promote knowledge transfer from Western Europe to Serbia.