AI Solution Wins Agriculture Hackathon

June 19, 2019 By IdeaConnection

To hAI SolutionsTo help it develop new approaches to agricultural concerns, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) hosted a two-day hackathon.

Software developers, information technology professionals and technical experts were invited to create IT systems to help solve issues around water management.

Eight teams took part and they were given access to the USDA’s soil, geospatial and water forecasting data.

In developing their solutions participants were tasked with addressing a number of issues: 

  • Cybersecurity
  • Limited broadband use across rural America
  • Using machine learning and artificial intelligence models to enhance data-driven decisions

During the event, mentors were on hand to offer help and assistance as needed.

A Catalyst for Innovation

“Farmers and ranchers are using data from satellites, weather forecasts, sensors, and other technology for more precise agriculture, which is helping to improve agricultural processes on their operation while increasing profits and providing even better protection to the environment,” commented USDA’s Chief Data Officer Ted Kaouk said in a statement.

“Hackathons are a great way to spur innovation and have the potential to solve real issues.”

Artificial Intelligence Solution

The overall winner of this open innovation event was Team Smart Ag. They picked up the $15,000 winner's check for their concept which is “a low-cost, low-power smart-farming solution”. It uses artificial intelligence to allow farmers to monitor farming conditions, such as livestock health and water needs for crops.

The innovation also has a phone application so farmers can ask the open-source, conversational artificial intelligence platform such questions as, "Where should I be watering today?"

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