Testing a Responsible Innovation Approach for Integrating Precision Agriculture (PA) Technologies with Future Farm Workers and Work
This Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier (FW-HTF) project will advance the fundamental understanding of building stronger human-machine networks in agriculture through the development and testing of socially and ethically desirable precision agriculture technologies and workforce augmentation approaches. Precision agriculture employs data-based agricultural technologies and practices and localized farm data to generate site-specific farm recommendations that can improve farm productivity and environmental sustainability. To unlock this potential of precision agriculture, educators and scientists are eager to train the future farm workforce. To embrace any training, farm workers need to believe they can trust the information they will get from these technologies and there needs to be a clear and understandable path to converting data to usable information. This project will use real farms in South Dakota and Vermont as living laboratories for developing and testing new precision agriculture tools (intelligent decision support system), sensor driven performance-based incentives for implementation of sustainable agriculture practices, and workforce training initiatives that can enhance farm workers’ trust and confidence in precision agriculture tools. The living laboratory approach will involve farm workers as users, co-producers, and co-evaluators of precision agriculture tools. This interactive technological development process has the potential to increase farmworkers’ trust in precision agriculture tools, enhance the training processes, increase farmers’ adoption of these tools, improve farm productivity, and on and off-farm environmental sustainability. Positive spillover from this project will also accelerate the transition of co-designed and co-evaluated artificial intelligence innovations in agriculture into many other economic sectors.
Project lead: Prof. Asim Zia
Funding provided by: NSF FW/HTF
Participatory workshop content will introduce theories of change through concepts from Transition Design, link methods of innovation from Design Thinking, and emphasize collaboration and small group communication through visioning exercises. Use of serious game technology, including augmented or virtual reality to increase willingness to use precision agriculture.
Project lead: Sarah Kleinman
Team: Scott C. Merrill, Ben Ryan, Halimeh Abuayyash, Alex Friedrichsen
Funding provided by: USDA