WSU to Lead National AI Research

Washington State University will lead a multi-institutional research institute to develop artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to tackle some of agriculture’s biggest challenges related to labor, water, weather and climate change.

The new institute is one of 11 launched by the National Science Foundation and among two funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture in 2021. It’s called the AgAID Institute, which is short for USDA-NIFA Institute for Agricultural AI for Transforming Workforce and Decision Support.

While traditional AI development involves scientists making tools and delivering them to end-users, the AgAID Institute will involve the people who will use the AI solutions—from farmers and workers to policy makers—in their development, said Ananth Kalyanaraman, a WSU computer science professor and the lead principal investigator for the Institute.

AgAID Institute - Ananth Kalyanaraman
AgAID Institute – Ananth Kalyanaraman

“It’s a partnership. AI can help us basically bridge the divide between high-skilled and low-skilled workers,” said Kalyanaraman.