Farmers Are Using AI For Crops Now

There has been an uptick in the use of AI systems in the United Kingdom among farmers to keep an eye on their crops and ward against pests. 

Conrad Young, the creator of the Chirrup system that can identify bird species from recordings of chirps, likened the program to having an actual human sitting on guard 24/7 and listening when “they instruct it to listen.”

The app originates from the United Kingdom, delving into the science behind the “dawn chorus,” or the birdsong that ushers in the morning. The software improves its ability to recognize local avian species with each new recording, facilitating the compilation of a comprehensive inventory of the region’s biodiversity. 

The program’s effectiveness can be attributed partly to the fact that it analyzes not the sound itself but rather a spectrogram, which essentially represents the sound. According to reports, the program’s range is up to 100 meters. 

Insects, which are even more harmful than rodents and rabbits and pose a problem for organic farmers since they require the use of pesticides, are also depicted on the map. 

Peter Cheek, a farmer, explained that since the birds are feasting on the insects, they are also feasting on other insects attempting to destroy the crops.

Cheek stated that Chirrup was a more cost-effective solution to the problem and that it had helped his farm reach healthier soil.

The initiative offers a novel approach to crop security compared to previous comparable projects, such as employing AI-powered systems to safeguard endangered species in Africa from poaching via cameras and more improved computer vision. 

Another system in Africa uses AI to boost agricultural production and prepare farmers for climate change and other natural disasters. 

There has been great fear amongst the developers of AI that it will be a Pandora’s Box once it is fully realized. But there is great good it can achieve if tempered and measured for unintended consequences.