How farmers are becoming a part of the AI revolution

Apr 30, 2019

How relevant we continue to be depends on how adaptable we are prepared to be. The biggest challenge is that it goes against our instinct to be adaptable.


Many articles have been written about how humans will be replaced by artificial intelligence.


I’m personally of the view that while artificial intelligence might be able to do certain things better than humans, humans will not be replaced as long as we remain adaptable.


However, adaptability goes against our human instinct.


Our origins as hunter-gathers is hard coded into our DNA, and so our biology tells us that to survive we need to burn less energy, as we don’t know when our next successful hunt will be, and to do what we know, consumes less energy.


I recently read about Bainiaohe, a rural Chinese town in Guizhou.  Many of us, from the Chinese Diaspora, pride ourselves in being adaptable.  After all, that’s how our forefathers, and we survive the environments we live in.


But the farmers of Bainiaohe are the true representatives of being adaptable in a changing environment.


My wife and I are Chinese Tea aficionados, and so we read with great interest when Bianaiohe, which is traditionally a tea growing area, became an Artificial Intelligence hub.


Many farmers, are now becoming AI farmers. 


Their role isn’t heavily technical, but involves sitting in front of a computer for hours a day teaching computers what items are by tagging them.  For example, a car might go by in security footage, and the role of the AI farmer is to tag that object as a car, so that the computer can learn what a car looks like.


To the farmers, they’re doing worthwhile work, feeding the future of their country’s technological capabilities.


There are benefits for the farmers too – the work they now do is less back breaking than farming, they are less dependent on weather for their income, etc


What enabled all of this to happen was their willingness to be adaptable.


Projecting 10 years into the future, traditional farming jobs could very well be replaced by robots.


By being adaptable, they are learning technology, and more importantly paving the way for future generations to benefit, rather than be left behind by technological advances.


How adaptable are you prepared to be?




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