“Data-driven growing is a big thing in horticulture in general. Many growers are into autonomous growing, data-driven greenhouse management, and...
Human+Machine: the key to success in the greenhouse
the best way to use AI is to combine it with the human
The perception of people regarding AI and robots is multifaceted and can vary greatly. Some individuals view these technologies with optimism, recognizing their potential to enhance productivity, improve efficiency, and create new job opportunities. They see AI and robots as tools that can assist and collaborate with humans, automating repetitive or dangerous tasks, and freeing up time for more creative and complex work. On the other hand, there are concerns about the impact of AI and robots on employment. Many fear that automation could lead to job displacement and unemployment, particularly in industries where tasks can be easily automated. This perception stems from the idea that machines can replace human workers, potentially leading to economic inequality and social disruption. It is important to note that while AI and robots can indeed automate certain jobs, they can also create new employment opportunities in emerging fields related to AI development, robot programming, and maintenance. The key lies in adapting to the changing nature of work, upskilling, and embracing the potential for humans and machines to collaborate effectively in a rapidly evolving technological landscape.
By now everyone has one or two scary stories about ChatGPT and AI and how they can potentially ruin our lives. The Deep Fake, new alternatives to the Nigerian Prince emails and the new wave of cyberbullying to name a few. Yet, the main question is if these tools and algorithms going to take our jobs away. Indeed this new industry is going to create new and different jobs but you can expect a customer service person who is now replaced by a chatbot, overnight to become an AI engineer and software coder.
In our industry, repetitive tasks and mind-numbing efforts will be automated as it has been the case for the past two decades. You barely can find a greenhouse that does not have a sorting machine these days. We used to do this by hand not too long ago. There will also be some tasks that will be done by these algorithms that are considered high cognitive decision making and in some cases, the algorithm might in fact offer a better solution compared to a human "if" the training data that was used to build the algorithm is much larger, much more diverse and far more informative than the knowledge and experience of the human who is going to us it.
These tools are here and they are growing rather fast. At the moment, the target of these tools is service jobs but soon we will witness the proliferation of use cases in many industries including us. The speed of expansion and change is so fast that no one has yet even had a chance to think about the legal, ethical, financial and economic impact of these tools, yet here we are.
One thing that is apparent from the interaction with ChatGPT and similar tool sets is the fact that the result you get is a factor of the prompt you set for the AI to generate the outcome for you. The better the prompt, the better the result. We need to learn how to interact with these tools. To maximize the benefit, the human player in this game is not the one who does back-of-napkin calculations and measurements in the crop rows. The algorithm and robots can do that. The human player will be the one who would ask questions from AI and based on some sample observations, fine-tune the recommendation that it generates and saves lots of time. With the combination of the Human+Machine, your brain power can expand to a far larger area of the operation under your management. The human actor is essential for the success of this new wave of technologies. We are not producing enough people with green fingers yet farms are expanding and demand for more produce is on the rise. These tools in fact are going to help us, if used properly, to fulfill the ever-growing demand. Success can only be achieved if humans and machines collaborate and work alongside each other.