Ceres Imaging, Oakland, Calif., released the results of a new survey gauging Americans’ feelings about artificial intelligence (AI) and farming. The survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, conducted on behalf of Ceres Imaging by Propeller Insights, City of Commerce, Calif., in January, determined that most Americans believe AI will be a force for good, particularly when it comes to the agriculture industry.

More than half of Americans (61%)—in particular, Millennials (70%) and men (69%)—feel that AI will help humanity, especially when it comes to making better use of global resources and efficient farming practices, like improving crop yield (35%), extending water usage (25%) and preventing starvation (22%).

When it comes to how likely AI is to revolutionize farming, Americans believe it will make farming less labor-intensive (40%) and improve efficiency, leading to a surplus of crops (40%). They also hope it might increase the quality of crops (27%) while decreasing the cost to consumers (27%).

The vast majority of Americans (80%) would like to see AI involved with farming if it significantly reduced the cost of fruits and vegetables, 82% if it significantly improved the quality of fruits and vegetables and 83% if it reduced the time it took farmers to identify problem areas in their growing fields. 

U.S. men are particularly enthused about seeing AI coupled with aerial imaging for agricultural purposes and believe the combined technologies could help: 

  • Pinpoint areas of concern for farmers (55%)
  • Improve efficiency (45%)
  • Reduce the amount of labor required to survey the fields (37%)
  • Improve the quality of the crops (29%)

“Americans are correct in thinking that AI can and will make produce better and more affordable and that it will help farmers manage natural resources,” says Ashwin Madgavkar, chief executive officer of Ceres Imaging. “Maintaining ideal irrigation levels is a huge challenge for farmers, but with the help of aerial imaging and machine learning algorithms, they can water their crops strategically and take other efficient corrective actions to prevent crop losses.”