It is remarkable how despite the advances that have emerged over the centuries and that made man move from caves to living in large cities, taking advantage of nature to grow food continued to be a current practice.
Over time, and as in other aspects, technology became present in this sector, creating special machinery and automating some operations that led to improving the quality of the food grown and increasing the areas destined for this process, to in order to cover the consumption of large cities.
In the case of artificial intelligence, Diana Akrong, a UX researcher based in Accra, Ghana and a founding member of Google’s UX team in Accra, has been looking for a way to put Google at the service of agriculture.
Its purpose is to make people who work in this sector and who live in rural areas have a resource that helps them build sustainable systems that guarantee the world food security.
Together with Diana he works Courtney Heldreth, Social psychologist and researcher at UX based in Seattle, United States. Both are part of the group Google People + Artificial Intelligence Research (PAIR) Under which they were given the task of deciphering how AI can be useful to improve the lives of small local agricultural communities established in the Global South (underdeveloped or economically disadvantaged nations).
Through this initiative, Diana and Courtney and their team hope to find out everything about the farmers who live in these areas: their needs, the practices they apply in the process of growing food, their value system and their social life.
Ultimately, they will need to capitalize on the insights to develop Google products that reflect these dynamics. On the other hand, Courtney emphasized the strategies and actions currently carried out within the agricultural sector with artificial intelligence, pointing out how these have been more than anything directed at the agriculture of United States and European countries.
For her and Diana, her project is entirely geared towards studying the daily realities of farmers living and working in rural areas of the Global South. It is in them where these women seek to obtain a different perspective of the sector, in order to make Google products can be applicable to everyone, regardless of location.
You can read the full story on the Google blog.