Horticulture

Artificial Intelligence for Cannabis Cultivation

Petar Petrov
Written by Petar Petrov

Artificial intelligence (AI) simplifies the complex, automates and streamlines the repetitive and burdensome, and narrows down seemingly infinite data to concise takeaways and solutions. And as something that can be very complex, repetitive, burdensome, and akin to a data maze, cannabis cultivation can benefit tremendously from AI.

AI describes computer programs and technologies capable of imitating human intelligence, including visual perception and decision making. It relies on advanced algorithms to comb through and learn from data. One common type is machine learning, where AI scans for patterns in data without a defined target. Another is computer vision, where AI learns to recognize patterns in images and videos, effectively interpreting surroundings.

AI works like a bird’s-eye view, revealing the big picture with all its interconnected patterns and details, full of logic, meaning, and predictors of the future which would otherwise remain hidden — or at the very least difficult to see — for the naked eye. And with the implementation of drones and sensors, AI can enable cultivators to observe every detail in real time, or better yet, the noteworthy details that have been sifted out.

Taking place in a controlled environment where patterns and tendencies are bound to emerge at a higher rate, indoor cannabis cultivation is where AI can shine the brightest. It can be used for anything from detecting plant diseases in their early stages and helping cultivators stop them in their tracks, to applying the principles of math and stock portfolios to optimize cannabis cultivation.

Typically, cannabis cultivators employ AI to monitor plants’ development and growth, determine optimal spacing between plants, pinpoint low-quality or low-return seeds, and pin down the optimal environmental conditions like temperature, water, humidity, sunlight exposure, pH levels, and carbon dioxide levels, in addition to fine-tuning the diet of nutrients and pesticides.

As a result, AI enables cannabis cultivators to develop crops with more precision, targeting specific cannabinoids and terpenes, cannabinoid/terpene ratios, and recreational and/or medical needs.

AI is the future of many industries, and cannabis cultivation may be along for the ride. That doesn’t mean it will or should replace the human touch — on the contrary, AI can enhance it, make it more precise and effective, and give it wings.

Image Credits:  Mike MacKenzie, CC BY 2.0

About the author

Petar Petrov

Petar Petrov

Petar is a freelance writer and copywriter, covering culture, art, society, and anything in-between that makes for a nice story. And as it so happens, cannabis is a great element to add to each of those conversations.

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