Technology has changed human society and interaction in astonishing ways. We have self-driving cars, computers smaller than calculators, and lightning fast communication across most of the planet; technology has never grown or moved faster in human history.
But the most promising and debated technology is artificial intelligence or AI. AI of the future will revolutionize every aspect of our lives, from transportation and design to gaming and entertainment. And AI is already having an impact on one surprising area of our lives: our food.
Machines have already changed food production forever, but AI will have even better results. In this article, we’ll go over the basics of AI and how AI is changing food production forever.
What Is AI?
To understand how AI is affecting food production, we need to understand what AI is. Most people think of AI as a digital person or some kind of sentient robot, but AI gets used in many different ways and has different purposes.
Artificial Intelligence is an intelligent machine. This means that the machine has the ability to gather information, process that information, and make its own decisions or conclusions.
AI gets used for everything from image recognition and data collection to design and security, making it a cutting edge tool in every industry.
How Has AI Affected Food Production?
AI has already had a large impact on food production, and with exciting new developments, will have a large impact on the future of food production. It has managed to make its way into almost every process in food production, from harvesting to transportation to preparation.
Here are some of the many ways that AI is having an impact on food production.
Growing Better Food
Farmers across the world are using AI to grow better food. They use AI to collect data about the operation of their farm, which leads to less waste and more profit.
The AI collects data about water usage, crop yields, fuel usage, and other data points. It then processes the information and shows farmers where they are wasting resources or where they could improve their operations.
Scientists are also using AI to help grow the food of the future. Scientists are trying to find the perfect conditions for growing certain crops, and they are using AI to do it. The AI collects the data and comes up with different growing tactics for the crops based on the information.
Soon, they’ll have a recipe for the perfect conditions for crops and can use that recipe to get higher crop yields.
Sorting and Inspecting Food
Food producers are using AI to sort their produce, leading to less waste and higher efficiency.
Sorting produce is important because fruits and vegetables of different sizes get used for different things. To get the most out of the product, they must get sorted into proper piles. For example, some fruits are better for sale and some are better for jam; some potatoes are better for fries, some are better for chips.
Using sensors, AI can sort these vegetables and reduce costs. It can also spot rotting or discolored vegetables, which reduces the amount of product that is returned by customers and food retailers.
AI can also get used to test the safety of food and food products. By monitoring the food temperature and transportation, AI can ensure that food doesn’t go bad. And by inspecting food equipment for defects or malfunctions, AI prevents accidents and returns.
Food Safety Compliance
AI is also getting used to make sure that people who work in food preparation are complying with food safety laws.
China is using a form of AI that monitors workers and makes sure that they are following health safety codes. The AI uses cameras to watch the workers and uses facial and image recognition technology to spot food safety violations by the workers.
For example, if a worker handles food and doesn’t change gloves or wash their hands, the system will catch it. It lets the worker know by displaying a message on a screen nearby describing the food safety violation.
AI is also used to create new products and machines for the food production industry.
For example, a company called Gastrograph AI is using AI to collect data and customer feedback about flavors they create. The AI then uses an algorithm and the data to create a flavor it thinks the customers will like based on their feedback.
These complex algorithms and AI technology can get used to create flavors that are sweet, salty, and sour. This means that your next favorite flavor of ice cream, soda, chips, candy, or gum might get invented by computers!
Cleaning Process Equipment
One of the most promising areas of AI use is in the area of cleaning process equipment. Cleaning process equipment takes a lot of time and resources, including water, labor hours, and the use of harsh chemicals.
But, researchers at the University of Nottingham are developing an AI-powered cleaning system that will reduce the use of time and resources by 20-40%. The system called the Self-Optimizing-Clean-In-Place system or SOCIP, uses an AI program that finds food and microbial debris and chooses the best method to clean it.
Food production already creates waste that harms the planet and the bottom line, so reducing that waste is key to being more successful. With a 20-40% reduction in the use of resources, traditional cleaning just can’t compare to using AI.
Let the Technology Revolution Begin
It’s clear that AI will change food production forever. The best way to take advantage of this new technology is to incorporate it into your business as well!
If you have any questions about AI or how to incorporate it into your business, please visit our blog.