This article was originally published on Cannabis & Tech Today, and appears here with permission.
To some, artificial intelligence (AI) may be categorized next to the likes of Bitcoin and blockchain: it’s just another techie buzz word.
For others, artificial intelligence could conjure up images of sentient robots hellbent on world domination.
While artificial intelligence, in some ways, can be those things, what it is in practice often looks much different.
The artificial intelligence that many people talk about today can also be referred to as machine learning, or the process by which software takes in data, learns patterns, and makes whatever adjustments it needs to make to achieve its goal.
The goal in our case?
Maximizing cannabis yields and sales.
“Every industry is being shaken up by AI these days,” explained Brad Newkirk, strategic leader at LumiGrow, a smart lighting company working to develop AI solutions for cannabis cultivators. “Cannabis is no different, except that its newness creates more opportunities.”
From cultivation and production to retail and sales, AI has numerous applications in the cannabis field.
LumiGrow lighting at Copper state Farms
“Cultivators should look to autonomous growing techniques to improve their margin,” Newkirk continued. “In the retail space, I’ve seen interactive experiences make product education easy and fun – increasing the likelihood of a sale. The medical market already fully embraces AI technologies as they explore relationships between treatment techniques and patient outcomes.”
While, like Newkirk mentioned, AI has some applications within retail and the medical field, its most common implementation, at the moment, is in cultivation.
“[Automation] brings environmental control, fertigation, and irrigation accuracy, which transfers into high quality, uniform crops,” explained Justin Jacobs, AST Field Tech at Argus Control, which provides automated control systems for cannabis horticulture.
The point that Jacob makes highlights two important benefits of automation and AI technologies: efficiency and accuracy.
Having this amount of consistent control and accuracy naturally leads to a more consistent product, which is important in an …