A smart phone app under development can detect citrus diseases.
Artificial intelligence (AI) will likely help growers and researchers cope with citrus greening (huanglongbing, known as HLB) and other citrus problems over the long run. That’s the belief of J. Scott Angle, the new head of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).
Angle, UF’s vice president for agriculture and natural resources, says AI is a priority for UF/IFAS. “We’re to the point now in science where there’s so much data that we’ve generated … that it becomes very difficult now to make sense of all this data that we’re collecting, and that really can only be done by artificial intelligence.” He says data on trees, soil and weather are among the massive amount of information that has been collected.
“IFAS has been involved in AI for a long time,” Angle says. He mentions researcher Arnold Schumann at the Citrus Research and Education Center as one of those working with AI. Schumann, he says, has been working on a smart phone app to allow disease to be detected “long before any of us can see it visually” and even before dogs can detect it.
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