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Queensland scientists: Artificial Intelligence Could Revolutionize Agriculture

Two agricultural scientists from Queensland believe that artificial intelligence (AI) could play a significant role in addressing climate change and pest challenges in the agricultural industry. With the global population expected to reach 10 billion by 2050, the scientists from the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation see AI as a promising technology for developing more sustainable and profitable plants.

University of Queensland geneticist Lee Hickey highlighted the potential of AI after analyzing data on two different barley diseases. The AI algorithm selected parents with highly susceptible genes for both diseases, which, when combined with genes from other parents, produced better-performing progeny. This discovery showcased the power of AI algorithms in accelerating plant breeding and development.

Moreover, the scientists emphasized how AI could streamline the process of cross-breeding plants and speeding up generations. By utilizing “speed breeding” technology, breeders can achieve four to six generations a year. The researchers are currently partnering with the Grains Research and Development Corporation to investigate the use of AI in breeding disease-resistant wheat and barley.

Professor Ben Hayes, also from the University of Queensland, highlighted four ways in which AI can revolutionize the industry. AI can assist breeders in selecting desirable traits based on consumer preferences, analyze large-scale crop images to determine trait indicators, process and analyze vast amounts of data to make accurate predictions about plant varieties, and transform breeding approaches from individual genetic lines to collections of DNA chunks that contribute to desired traits.

With AI’s potential to significantly enhance agricultural practices, these Queensland scientists are optimistic about its application in addressing the challenges of a growing global population and ensuring sustainable and profitable farming practices for the future.

Source: https://fagenwasanni.com/news/artificial-intelligence-could-revolutionize-agriculture-say-queensland-scientists/205894/

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