Making Autonomy Work in Agriculture

Cindy Zimmerman

L-R: John Appel, Biome Makers; Gabe Sibley, Verdant Robotics;
Michael Kohen, SparkAI; and Omar Gomez, Hectre

Artificial intelligence (AI) offers growers greater efficiency, from self-driving technology to a multitude of applications in the field from planting to postharvest. But in the unstructured environments of agriculture nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

The recent VISION Conference explored that topic in a session called “Making Autonomy Work in Agriculture,” featuring insights and perspectives from companies that are successfully integrating AI in ag.

John Appel, Head of Commercial Sales for Biome Makers, moderated the panel. “What was clear to me is the (companies) that are successful … are really looking to offer tangible cost reductions to a grower that they can measure themselves,” he said.

VISION 2023 interview with John Appel, Biome Makers (4:49)

Verdant Robotics founder and CEO Gabe Sibley says they are already saving growers 50-70 percent because the technology has that kind of value. “We want the growers to know that there’s significant cost savings to be had now,” said Sibley. “We’re really led by what the growers need.”

VISION 2023 interview with Gabe Sibley, Verdant Robotics (5:03)

Michael Kohen is Founder & CEO of SparkAI which is focused on perfecting the technology. “AI is hard to perfect,” he said. “It’s easy to build an AI model that works 95 percent of the time, but it’s that last five percent of unpredictability is a critical barrier that prevents the products from actually getting into the world and providing value.”

VISION 2023 interview with Michael Kohen, SparkAI (5:25)

Also on the panel was Omar Gomez, Washington lead at Hectre, an award-winning fruit tech start-up delivering data visibility via computer vision AI early fruit sizing solutions, and digital orchard management apps.

2023 VISION Conference Photo Album

AI, Audio, robotics, Technology