Researchers from the Monash University Faculty of Information Technology, AgriSci, Bard AI, and PentaQuest have all leveraged artificial intelligence (AI) and game design practices to reduce and track the unwanted movement and impact of pesticides, reports ZD Net.
According to ZD Net, spray drift impact is the result of pesticides moving and spreading beyond the targeted agricultural crops. When this happens, the news site states that this poses harm to other crops and wildlife as the pesticide can affect the growth of these aspects.
iT Wire said that based on the information provided by Monash University, one of the most affected sectors of the spray drift effect is the Australian cotton industry. In 2018, the sector suffered from massive $18 million losses which the AI technology and gamification practices aim to address.
Following this, researchers and developers from Monash University Faculty of Information Technology, as well as AgriSci, Bard AI, and PentaQuest have taken to making a project that uses artificial intelligence and augmented reality at the helm to help farmers visualize the impact and spray drift effect from their mobile devices.
The AI aspect of the project is reliant on Bayesian Networks, states iT Wire. These networks reportedly have the capacity to provide a realistic world view of problems, giving farmers and users real-world happenings as well.
Through this, ZD Net reveals that farmers will be given the capacity to view varying situations on their device, how spraying pesticides could affect and move neighboring crops, and the effect of pesticides being used in less than ideal conditions.
Moreover, iT Wire notes that the technology will make for better decision-making practices, paving the way for an improved landscape that not only makes for a sustainable living but also allows farmers to be productive and profitable as well.
In a statement, interim dean Ann Nicholson from the Monash University Faculty of Information Technology said, “Information alone does not change behaviour and the use of advanced technology doesn’t ensure the adoption of new platforms by farmers.”
“By incorporating game-like design applications which drive better training and engagement outcomes, together with AI-driven decision support modelling, we’re able to deliver continuous adoption and accurate decision support that informs farmers appropriately,” continued Nicholson.
iT Wire notes that Monash University hopes that the augmented reality and gamification aspect encourages more farmers to participate in making the change to their respective communities and in taking note of how spraying practices can affect wildlife and crops in the long run.