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SAS Looks to Leverage AI to Feed the World

SAS is creating a new agricultural technology business unit and has partnered with the North Carolina Plant Sciences Initiative at North Carolina State University. The new business unit is providing technology, data science, and educational resources to help next-generation farmers and agribusiness leaders harness artificial intelligence (AI) to transform agriculture and feed the world.

This initiative is part of the company’s $1 billion investment in AI over the next three years, announced earlier this year.

With world population predicted to reach 10 billion people by 2050, the world needs to produce more food, more efficiently. Enter AI. Agricultural data coupled with machine learning (ML) and AI technologies such as image recognition, natural language processing, and robotics, along with drones and sensors, can help advance plant science, improve farm production practices, and evolve the field into precision agriculture.

Our Take

After speaking with many business leaders and executives over the past months across a range of industries, one thing is clear: their most pressing concern at this time is education. To paraphrase one of them, all levels of managers and executives need to understand what AI and ML are (and are not), how they are different from traditional and predictive analytics and statistics, and where the value lies for their lines of business and the organization as a whole.

SAS’ investment in AI education and support is timely, and it is going to address this need.

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