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  • Writer's pictureDanielle van Hout

Eye on AI - August 26th, 2022

Welcome to Aigora's "Eye on AI" series, where we round up exciting news at the intersection of consumer science and artificial intelligence!


We’re all about food output this week as we address how the need for increased food production amid volatile weather patterns is accelerating the need for new smart farming technologies and personalized food shopping experiences.


Need For Smart Farming Increases As Seasons Become More Unpredictable

Among the growing difficulties of modern humanity, perhaps the least talked about is food production. The combination of a growing population with our increasingly unpredictable climate means unprecedented difficulties ahead in food production. This complexity, according to research by the National Geographic, means that food production will need to double by 2050 to sustain the rising population.

“The environmental challenges posed by agriculture are huge, and they’ll only become more pressing as we try to meet the growing need for food worldwide,” writes National Geographic contributor Jonathan Foley. “We’ll likely have two billion more mouths to feed by mid-century—more than nine billion people… If… trends continue, the double whammy of population growth and richer diets will require us to roughly double the amount of crops we grow by 2050.”

Increasing agricultural output amid volatile growing conditions is, according to the article “Smart farming for better output,” no simple task. Because of this, many researchers are now looking to smart farming as a possible solution.

“Smart farming is the application of intelligent information and communication technology systems, such as sensors, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud-based processes, machine learning, networking, and artificial intelligence (AI),” writes the Dawn editorial team. “... Based on autonomous systems, these technologies may efficiently regulate actuators, improve utility and control resource usage.”

Smart farming systems enhance food output on every level. They allow agricultural systems to produce more with less resources, better predict outcomes, and make better use of limited resources. There are innumerable applications, many of which are already being utilized. In livestock, for instance, AI is being used to prevent disease outbreaks, better feed our animals, and increase high-quality livestock populations. Within agriculture, precision farming enables growers to better nurture their crop, reduce water and mineral waste, and decrease soil exhaustion, thus increasing the amount of available land to farm. While these smart farming methods are encouraging, researchers believe AI use needs to be accelerated in other areas as well if we’re to meet growing output demands.

Walmart’s Llena (AI) Offers Hyper-Personalized Food Shopping Experiences

While smart farming works to increase food output in the fields, new food personalization applications are reducing waste in the stores while also providing customers with nutritious and cost-effective means of food access. One such example is Walmart’s Llena (AI), created through a partnership with the digital diabetes company Llena (AI) Health Solutions Inc.

“Llena (AI) uses proprietary artificial intelligence to create an individualized glycemic index value meal suggestion based on blood sugar, blood pressure, and other preferences,” writes Progressive Grocer contributor Lynn Petrak. “Once chosen, groceries can be ordered for pickup or delivery from Walmart.”

Among Llena (AI)’s features is the ‘Cook It Yourself’ module, which allows users to browse and buy foods from Walmart that work for them and their diet and plan their weekly meals accordingly. On top of that, Walmart announced this month it will be making its first deliveries from newly-purchased Canoo’s Lifestyle Delivery Vehicles, which the company hopes to expand. These personalized food offerings, in conjunction with smart delivery and other smart systems powered by AI, will provide better food convenience while minimizing shortages and waste. Combined with smart farming, one can see how a potential path for doubling food production by 2050 is beginning to form.

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