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Proagrica Report Illuminates 7 Trends in Ag and Artificial Intelligence

Proagrica Report Illuminates 7 Trends in Ag and Artificial Intelligence

Where will farmers go with technology in the decades ahead? ( MGN )

According to a new research report from RELX, parent company of Proagrica, artificial intelligence (AI) investments have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The third annual 2020 RELX Emerging Tech Study surveyed more than 1,000 senior executives across eight industries.  

Specific to U.S. agriculture businesses, the study found: 

  • 74% currently use AI, down from 84% in 2019.
  • 76% have upped their spend on AI technologies in light of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • 87% believe that AI technologies played a role in slowing the spread of COVID-19
  • 87% offer training on AI technologies, up from 81% in 2019
  • 100% believe emerging technologies are having a positive impact on their industry (77% say very positively and 23% say somewhat positively), up from 97% in 2019
  • 100% agree that emerging technologies are helping their business be more competitive (76% very much agree, 23% agree somewhat), up from 97% in 2019. 
  • 91% believe ethical considerations are a strategic priority in the design and implementation of their AI systems 

“Our research shows that not only is ag investing more in AI than segments such as healthcare and government – it also rates ethical considerations more highly than both,” Anthony DeNome, Proagrica’s VP of sales for the Americas said in a news release. “There is a concern among ag respondents that other countries are becoming more advanced than the U.S. in the fields of AI development and implementation – some 83% of ag execs reported feeling this way, and we may have seen the number of ag businesses using AI fall slightly year-on-year.”

Of the eight sectors surveyed, insurance had the most respondents say they are increasing their investment in AI with 78% of insurance executives saying they are increasing investment in AI, and agriculture is second. 

The top implementation of AI in agriculture is in human resources with 71% saying AI technologies are boosting the overall efficiency of the recruitment process. But AI is not yet replacing human labor in agriculture. The survey shows an average of 26% across all the industries using AI to replace human labor, and the responses from the agricultural industry average 21%. 

“There’s a broad consensus across the sector that emerging technologies are helping the ag sector to be more competitive,” DeNome said. “AI is a case in point and we’re already seeing the benefits. This is a great start and the tech has the potential to do so much more in driving overall operational efficiencies, capabilities and pace.” 


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