Applying AI to Agricultural Businesses: Opportunities and Challenges
InformationFörfattare: Carl Johan Casten Carlberg, Elsa Jerhamre
Beräknat färdigt: 2021-06
Handledare: Susanne Björkman
Handledares företag/institution: Peltarion
Ämnesgranskare: Vera van Zoest
PresentationerPresentation av Carl Johan Casten Carlberg
Presentationstid: 2021-05-25 15:15
Presentation av Elsa Jerhamre
Presentationstid: 2021-05-25 16:15
Opponenter: Filip Kristofersson, Ella Calais
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly used in different parts of society for providing decision support in various activities. The agricultural sector is anticipated to benefit from an increased usage of AI and smart devices, a concept called smart farming technologies. Since the agricultural sector faces several simultaneous challenges, such as shrinking marginals, complicated pan-European regulations, and demands to mitigate the environmental footprint, there are great expectations that smart farming will benefit both individual farmers and industry stakeholders. However, most previous research focuses only on a small set of characteristics for implementing and optimising specific smart farming technologies, without considering all possible aspects and effects.
This thesis investigates both technical and non-technical opportunities and hurdles when implementing AI in Swedish agricultural businesses. Three sectors in agriculture are scrutinized: arable farming, milk production and beef production. As a foundation for the thesis, a literature review revises former research on smart farming. Thereafter, an interview study with 27 respondents both explores the susceptibility and maturity of smart farming technologies and provides technical depth to three chosen applications of AI in agriculture. Findings of the study include a diverse set of aspects that both enable and obstruct the transition. Main identified opportunities are the importance smart farming has on the strategic agendas of several industry stakeholders, the general trend towards software technology as a service through shared machinery, the vast amount of existing data, and the large interest from farmers towards new technology. Contrasting, the thesis identifies main hurdles as technical and legislative challenges to data ownership, potential cybersecurity threats, the need for a well-articulated business case, and the sometimes lacking technical knowledge within the sector. The thesis concludes that the macro trend points towards a smart farming transition but that the speed of the transformation will depend on the resolutions for the identified obstacles.