By: Ashutosh Asthana

You must have heard about how artificial intelligence is being used in industries like Travel, Health, e-commerce etc. but a company in the United States have started the use of Artificial Intelligence in a totally different industry. Connecterra, a Dutch company, has implemented the technology in the dairy farming sector. They have induced two technologies - motion sensor and AI - with the aim of making barnyards functional in the 21st century. The company has already started its IDA system or 'The Intelligent Dairy Farmers System'in Europe for several years.

What is IDA?
A motion-sensing device is attached to a cow's neck to convey its movements to a program that uses the technology of Artificial intelligence. The sensor's message, when recorded in a logical manner with real-world behavior, eventually allows the Intelligent Dairy Farmers System to tell when a cow is chewing cud, lying down, walking, drinking or eating. Such indicators help the farmers to predict when the cow is ill or when has it become less productive. This system also helps in breeding the cow as it tells when the cow is ready for breeding.
Yasir Khokhar, former Microsoft employee and the founder and CEO of Connecterra, said, "The technology that farmers are using in dairy farming is very outdated. Agriculture is one of those areas that desperately need technology".

"Using AI in the dairy industry in India could tremendously support the growth as almost all the production comes from small/marginal dairy farmers. AI could come in very handy for them with timely alerts leading to preventive measures thus saving on expenses.

-Lokesh Singh, COO & Co-founder, farMart

In India, where dairy farming is a major industry, around 10 million dairy farmers are involved in this business. The issues of cattle productivity can be improved with the implementation of IDA in India.
Speaking with Thinking Aloud, Lokesh Singh, Chief Growth Officer (COO) and Co-founder of farMart, a tech-enabled agricultural machinery renting platform said that AI would be a blessing for the farmers. He said "Using AI in the dairy industry in India could tremendously support the growth as almost all the production comes from small/marginal dairy farmers. These farmers, due to lack of financial resources, don't have access to capital-intensive solutions. AI could come in very handy for them with timely alerts leading to preventive measures thus saving on expenses. If AI could be made available to these small dairy farmers affordably, it would end up help creating more equal level playing field".

In agriculture, artificial intelligence and machine learning tools will continue to drive productivity and efficiency of human labor thanks to automation of routine processes and can also help increase the accuracy of analysis of a number of factors ranging from soil
conditions to historical weather patterns aimed at forecasting the impact of climate change or natural disasters. Agritech or Digital agriculture is already empowering small hold farmers to increase their income through higher crop yield and greater price control. This has been made possible through increased penetration of technologies such as artificial intelligence and cloud machine learning, satellite imagery and advanced analytics.

What is Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to a set of technologies that performs perception, learning, reasoning, and decision-making, aimed at endowing machines with intelligence that can be used to solve complex and challenging problems. Its development is at an inflection point, where the vast amounts of data available, combined with affordable computing power in the cloud, have facilitated great advances in innovative algorithms in the last 15 years. It promises to improve any decision-making process from the data available with additional insights and intelligence, leading to better outcomes, which would, in turn, improve every aspect of people’s lives and also improve every aspect of economic activity.

The author is the Assistant Editor of Thinking Aloud.

About Thinking Aloud


“Thinking Aloud” reflects the emerging trends and varied outlook of the rapidly evolving internet and communication sector. An IAMAI publication, this is a part of the market education initiative of the association.


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