Posted in | News | Agricultural Robotics

The Environmental and Social Benefits of AI-Powered Agriculture

In a recent study published in the scientific journal Nature Sustainability, a team led by Moussa El Jarroudi from the University of Liège demonstrates how artificial intelligence can be practically integrated into agricultural systems to meet the expanding needs of sustainable food production.

The Environmental and Social Benefits of AI-Powered Agriculture
Illustration of the use of Edge AI in agriculture with the opportunities, challenges, and implications for sustainable agriculture. Image Credit: Université de Liège / M.El Jarroudi

Edge AI is the application of artificial intelligence in an advanced computing environment. The emergence of this advanced AI could indicate the beginning of a new age for sustainable agriculture. Recent research offers a road map for using this technology to increase agricultural productivity, quality, and safety while addressing various environmental, social, and economic issues.

One of the primary goals of sustainable agriculture techniques is to feed a growing global population effectively.

This technology enables calculations to be carried out close to where the data is collected, rather than in a centralized cloud computing facility or off-site datacenter. This means devices can make smarter decisions faster without connecting to the cloud or off-site data centers.

Moussa El Jarroudi, Researcher, Crop Environment and Epidemiology, University of Liège (Belgium)

El Jarroudi added, “Deploying AI in agriculture is not without its challenges. It requires innovative solutions and the right infrastructure. Experts like Professor Said Hamdioui of Delft University of Technology have developed low-energy systems capable of operating autonomously.”

Though there are still obstacles to overcome, especially in light of climate change, the opportunities presented by these developments are encouraging.

The University of Liège was instrumental in this research project, providing state-of-the-art and cutting-edge resources in sustainable agriculture and AI. Researchers at ULiège have created innovative AI technologies and have examined how they can affect agricultural operations.

A New Era for Agriculture

The results of our study are part of a growing trend to integrate advanced technologies into agriculture to achieve sustainability goals. The adoption of edge AI can transform agricultural practices by increasing resource efficiency, improving crop quality, and reducing environmental impacts. This technology is positioning itself as an essential pillar for the future of sustainable agriculture.

Benoît Mercatoris, Study Co-Author and Associate Professor, University of Liège

This novel technology has the potential to revolutionize both production and consumption practices.

Journal Reference:

El Jarroudi, M., et al. (2024) Leveraging edge artificial intelligence for sustainable agriculture. Nature Sustainability. doi:10.1038/s41893-024-01352-4

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