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Alibaba Cloud makes agriculture “smarter” with Agricultural Brain

Farms in China are getting a whole lot smarter, thanks to Alibaba Cloud, which developed a new digital tool that could transform how farms operate and what’s served at our dinner table.

CGTN’s Frances Kuo explains how it works.

Earlier this year, the Alibaba Cloud service launched a traffic-management system called “City Brain.”

It uses artificial intelligence software and helps Chinese governments manage public transportation, security, and environmental monitoring.

Now, Alibaba is stretching its reach from cities to rural areas with “Agricultural Brain.”

“For many years, the countryside has been forgotten by technology,” said Dr. Min Wanli, Alibaba’s Chief Machine Intelligence Scientist. “China is dependent upon agriculture and the modernization of the countryside.”

Modernization is playing a role, for example, in the development of a melon.

Just a quick scan of its QR code, and we know it’s 90% mature and ready to eat.

“We deploy all the sensor networks and the video cameras to capture the image and footage,” Min explained.

This advanced system goes beyond just recording video – it’s also used to analyze and apply the data.

Alibaba launched a pilot run using a pig farm.

The firm farmed and raised pigs over a six-month period. Each pig was given a digital ID.

The data was then archived, used to detect sick hogs and what’s ailing them, and help improve the overall breeding environment.

The goal is to increase a sow’s production by three more newborns a year.

Alibaba Cloud’s President said in the future that what we’ll want is a good pig that runs kilometers instead of weighing 200 pounds.

The “Agricultural Brain” also reaches from the farms to our fingertips.

The system makes the data available digitally, allowing farmers to better track the entire production chain, providing new tools to help solve age-old problems.