An increasing world population, coupled with finite arable land, changing diets, and the growing expense of agricultural inputs, is poised to stretch our agricultural systems to their limits. By the end of this century, the earth’s population is projected to increase by 45% with available arable land decreasing by 20% coupled with changes in what crops these arable lands can best support; this creates the urgent need to enhance agricultural productivity by 70% before 2050. Current rates of progress are insufficient, making it impossible to meet this goal without a technological paradigm shift.
There is increasing evidence that enabling AI technology has the potential to aid in the aforementioned paradigm shift. Recent progress in AI can help transform agriculture by developing approaches that can uncover, model and predict complex relationships between environment, management, and genotype, enable future planning and optimize management processes, and mitigate undesirable emergent behavior. This AAAI workshop aims to bring together researchers from core AI/ML, robotics, sensing, cyber physical systems, agriculture engineering, plant sciences, genetics and bioinformatics communities to facilitate the increasingly synergistic intersection of AI/ML with agriculture and food systems. Outcomes include outlining the main research challenges in this area, potential future directions, and cross-pollination between AI researchers and domain experts in agriculture and food systems.