Students of the Department of Computer Science in the College of Pure and Applied Science have joined a team of beneficiaries of the Data Science of Nigeria’s (DSN) five-day workshop on Artificial Intelligence. At the opening ceremony on Wednesday, 4th August, 2021, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Adeniyi Olayanju, while declaring the event opened as well as giving his opening remarks stated that the training on artificial intelligence in agriculture is apt and in alignment with the agrarian revolution drive of the institution. 

Professor Adeniyi Olayanju noted that with the global geometric population rise it becomes imperative that agricultural practices are reviewed with the aim of proffering innovative approaches to sustaining and improving agricultural activities. On the application of Artificial Intelligence to agriculture, the Vice-Chancellor stated “The introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to agriculture will be enabled by other technological advances, including big data analytics, robotics, the internet of things, the availability of cheap sensors and cameras, drone technology, and even wide-scale internet coverage on geographically dispersed fields. By analyzing soil management data sources such as temperature, weather, soil analysis, moisture, and historic crop performance AI systems will be able to provide predictive insights into which crop to plant in a given year and when the optimal dates to sow and harvest are in a specific area, thus improving crop yields and decrease the use of water, fertilizers, and pesticides”. 

He added that through the application of AI technologies the impact on natural ecosystems can be reduced, and worker safety may increase. The main concept of AI in agriculture is its flexibility, high performance, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness as the training will help in the understanding of the applications of AI in soil management, crop management, weed management and disease management.

Earlier, the Dean College of Pure and Applied Science, Professor Adebiyi noted that presently, the place of artificial intelligence is key, “we are in the era in which all manner of intelligent systems is programmed. This workshop is tailored towards how to build intelligence systems that can drive agriculture, enterprise, business and so on”.  He thereafter encouraged the students to leverage the training for enhancement of the agrarian drive of the institution and for future purposes.  

In his presentation titled “AI Invasion: the effect of the advancement of agriculture”. Mr. Gbadamosi Oluwaseyi noted that over the past decade AI truly became a factor of production, with the potential to introduce new sources of growth and change the way work is done across industries. According to him, artificial intelligence is used in agriculture for precision farming, monitoring crop health, pest control, agricultural robotics, internet of things (IOT) powered data analytic, providing image based insight and managing environmental challenges. Mr. Gbadamosi revealed that expertise in the agricultural sector have moved to exploration of AI citing few examples of the innovations such as AI self-driving tractor, greenhouse automation system, drone-based imaging technology for monitoring crop health, plantnosis (an AI plant diagnostic tool), face recognition system for domestic cattle and many others. 

In his submission, Mr. Gbadamosi stated that artificial intelligence can fill the current manpower shortage and change the face of agriculture by increasing efficiency, reducing production costs of vegetables and fruits, minimizing environmental impacts and harvesting more. He later took the audience through a session of demonstration of the use of AI to develop a tomato maturity classification model. 

The Head of Department, Computer Science, Dr. Marion Adebiyi in her welcome remarks urged the participants to make the most of the knowledge the training would avail them as she appreciated the management for supporting the programme. 

The AI class is expected to hold from 4th to 7th August, 2021, taking the students through different sections of trainings.




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