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SRUC Bringing AI Innovation To Agriculture With NVIDIA

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) has teamed up with NVIDIA, the world’s leading AI company, to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in the agrifood sector, including fields such as livestock genetics and bacterial diseases.

Edinburgh-based SRUC researchers are currently utilising  an NVIDIA DGX Station in the fight against bacterial disease bovine tuberculosis (bTB), which affected around 37,000 animals this year and costs the country around £176 million per year.

Mid-infrared (MIR) spectral data can now be analysed at ten times the speed that it could before, screening more cows for bTB. The increase in speed allowed SRUC to test more models more quickly and achieve results that are comparable to the current skin test approach.

As part of a memorandum of understanding, SRUC researchers will work with NVIDIA to enhance SRUC’s new Challenge Centre for Digital and Data Innovation (CCDDI). Led by Professor Mike Coffey, the CCDDI is a virtual centre for digital and data technology applied to plant and animal health, welfare, breeding, image and spectral data analysis, phenotype production, genomic evaluation, genotype and sequence analysis and weather data analysis.

A key goal for artificial intelligence, machine learning and digital innovation in the agri-food industry is to provide trusted evidence that its activities can have a positive impact on climate change, improved animal health outcomes, natural economy profitability and resilience, and therefore be more broadly valued across society,” said Professor Wayne Powell, Principal and Chief Executive of SRUC.
“We are looking forward to working more closely with the team at NVIDIA, whose world-leading expertise in AI technology will help us to develop and deploy innovations to improve the lives of farmers, consumers and society as a whole.”
“AI is transforming every industry, using data to drive insight, and SRUC is using AI supercomputing to speed up data analysis and improve milk safety for consumers without the need for data centre infrastructure,” said Tony Paikeday, Senior Director of Product Marketing for Artificial Intelligence Systems at NVIDIA.
“With NVIDIA DGX Station in combination with development resources like pre-trained AI models available through the NVIDIA NGC software hub, SRUC will be able to advance their world-class research, improving the agri-food industry  with leading-edge AI.”