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Food and Beverages | Tuesday, January 04, 2022
Many sectors have been driven to adopt mechanical and automated processes due to technology's ongoing improvement to benefit from these brand new economies of scale.
FREMONT, CA: Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) have been driving technology integration during the last decade or two as the next step in improving industrial processes' precision, automation, and productivity. Cannabis is no exception. In a world where temperature and THC concentration may make or break an entire batch of products, AI has become ingrained in commercial cannabis farming.
However, what advantages can AI provide to cannabis growing compared to other industries? The next section discusses how and why modern cannabis producers are utilizing AI.
While AI began as a concept and a small-scale demonstration of high-end computers, it has developed into one of the fastest-growing sectors in technology in recent years. Not only that, but because the benefits of AI are so numerous, it has permeated nearly every industry imaginable, from waste management to retail. However, manufacturing is undoubtedly where AI has seen the most opportunities.
In the manufacturing industry, AI may be utilized to identify, manage, and monitor nearly every mechanical operation that occurs during the manufacturing process. AI can be used to analyze, for example, every packed product that reaches the last step of inspection due to its processing capabilities. In this situation, AI can be utilized to assess packing quality and detect errors. Additionally, it can keep track of the number of shipments that meet each quality grade. This type of information may be utilized to decrease the number of errors and increase production cost efficiency. As any business owner knows, minimizing costs equates to increasing income.
AI is most useful when it can automate simple but time-consuming operations on a massive scale. The massive amount of data that AI can handle in a single operation makes it so valuable in more industrial processes such as cannabis production.
Machine learning can be employed as a technology solution in practically every stage of the cannabis retail chain, from greenhouse monitoring to seed-to-sale tracking. One of the most frequent criticisms leveled towards controlled environment agriculture is that it consumes excessive energy. Regrettably, cannabis growing, by its very nature, demands a highly controlled environment to assure a consistent harvest quality. This is because the plant's growing conditions impact some of the cannabinoids in hemp, i.e., the concentration of cannabidiol (CBD) or other useful chemical components may be reduced. Outdoor cannabis conditions, particularly in more northern countries, are extremely dangerous and can severely restrict the production to specific months of the year. As a result of the high expenditures associated with maintaining a controlled agricultural environment, many cannabis growers have resorted to reducing their profit margins. Fortunately, AI has the potential to provide a solution.