We produce enough food to feed 10 billion people (more than the 7.6 billion population) yet nearly 800 million people remain hungry. Our inability to feed the entirety of the world’s population is mostly due to food waste. If we need to realize the vision of ‘Foor for All’ then technology will play a vital role. Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Robotics, blockchain, and many such cutting-edge innovations will create an environment for efficient, effective & sustainable food production & distribution.
Hence this week at ‘Conversations on AI’, we take a deeper look at the amalgamation of food with technology & its effect on filling my food plate.
Our world is becoming more data-driven, and we can see examples of this embedded in our everyday lives. By setting up an IoT sensor system, one can take data-driven action to transform your local food retailer’s sustainability through proven reductions in food losses and energy savings. Internet of Things (IoT) solutions are helping food retailers to maintain the quality and safety of our food using the least amount of energy possible.
IoT enables us to reduce climate emissions through available technology – now we must scale implementation!
Somewhere in a Chicago suburb, an AI is currently taking drive-thru orders. The idea is that the AI will take care of the orders and allow human employees to focus on the accuracy and quality of the food items.
Because the "grab-and-go" factor is already a perk of fast-food restaurants, it is basically a no-brainer for those who hope to grab a meal and maintain social distancing.
So, the next time you drive-thru a McDonald’s, know that AI is taking your order!
Civilization, as it is known today, could not have evolved, nor can it survive, without an adequate food supply -> Norman Borlaug
Technology is the future and present of the food industry and below are some of the present use-cases that shed more light on this topic:
✅ Technology applied to food design and production: Consumers are increasingly
concerned with where their food comes from and blockchain could well be the solution
✅ New products and services based on connectivity: "Dark kitchens" or "ghost kitchens" existed even before the pandemic. Restaurants are doing away with traditional dining set-ups and reducing their rent by only paying to rent out a "dark kitchen" where they make their food and prepare it for collection or delivery
✅ Retail and management models prioritizing experience: The customer experience is changing rapidly and robots are a huge part of that. In 2020, Walmart introduced robots that checked inventory and price accuracy in more than 1,000 stores
✅ A focus on sustainability: The food industry has come up with innovative ways to reduce its carbon footprint. Brands are also working to reduce the plastic packaging used in their products and innovative solutions include edible and biodegradable packaging made from seaweed.
This article by Oded Omar, CEO & Co-Founder, Wasteless talks about the fact that everyone needs to eat, so what this means for agriculture is the necessity to do more with less. In addition to the political will needed for a global perspective, we need to also start looking at the optimization of agriculture as a data management problem. It is precisely here that AI can make a big contribution.
With billions to feed around the world, technology will play a prominent role in ensuring food security.
In the end....
Our inefficiencies in food distribution and the existential threat of climate change will be the major factors driving a large chunk of the world population towards hunger by 2050. Hence, it is integral to utilize technology & modern agricultural techniques to ward off against these issues and create a sustainable world for every living creature.
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