New investments support agricultural scientists in taking a closer look at what artificial intelligence can offer.
Washington State University’s efforts to foster collaboration between its engineers and agriculture scientists recently received a $20 million federal investment. The funding will support the development of a new digital agriculture institute, bringing together over 50 research and extension staff, including from 10 partnering universities, to bring artificial intelligence expertise to agriculture challenges.
The ecosystem includes horticulturists and agricultural engineers, as well as experts in many aspects of computer science, AI, human-computer interaction, and water policy. The mission is broad, encompassing specialty crops down the West Coast, but Washington’s tree fruit and grape crops will be a major focus. Unlike a grant project, with clearly defined objectives from the outset, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation-funded AI institute plans work with several thrusts: farm intelligence, labor intelligence, and water intelligence.