SHANGHAI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, launched its proprietary ET Agricultural Brain at The Computing Conference 2018: Shanghai Summit today. The cutting-edge AI program has been adopted already by a number of leading pig farming and fruit and vegetable growing enterprises in China, and is set to revolutionize the agricultural industry, a strategic sector that affects the well-being of billions across the nation.
ET Agricultural Brain builds upon the success of Alibaba Cloud’s self-developed AI technology that has been applied in the smart city, transportation, industrial and aviation sectors, and extends its application to agriculture.
By applying AI technologies such as visual recognition, voice recognition and real-time environmental parameter monitoring, ET Agricultural Brain monitors each hog’s daily activity, growth indicators, pregnancy and other health conditions, bringing more insight throughout the pig farming industry chain. By processing data and training algorithm models based on machine learning technology, ET Agricultural Brain allows farm managers to monitor the farm and the animals in real time. For example, the system will automatically prescribe a plan of activity for hogs that need to improve the health and yield of hogs. The program will also be able to detect sick hogs and minimize accidents, such as protecting piglets from accidents through the introduction of voice recognition technology. Multiple meters are installed to collect data in order to optimize the environment for the herd to grow, as well as reducing human errors in the farming process.
It is estimated that ET Agricultural Brain could increase a sow’s annual production by three more newborns, while reducing unnatural death by 3%. Pigs per sow per year (PSY), an important efficiency indicator for the industry, is estimated to be increased to 32, boosting China’s industry efficiency to be on a par with that of the most advanced pig farming countries.
“Alibaba Cloud’s ET Agricultural Brain brings a new level of interactive automation to pig farming,” said Degen WANG, Chairman of Tequ Group, a leading pig farming enterprise based in Sichuan Province. “China is the world’s largest supplier, consumer and importer of pork. At Tequ Group, our business target is to breed 10 million pigs by 2020 – a scale that no ordinary automation system could cope with, let alone a human system. ET Agricultural Brain leads the way to the true industrialization of pig farming, helping us increase productivity, manage the farm more effectively and potentially upgrade the whole supply, sales and logistics chain using Alibaba’s ecosystem.” Mr. Wang shared the company’s experience of adopting ET Agricultural Brain at The Computing Conference in Shanghai.
Simon HU, Senior Vice President of Alibaba Group and President of Alibaba Cloud said: “Agriculture and animal husbandry industry is a strategic sector and matters to the lives of billions across China. At Alibaba Cloud, we are committed to using our world-class technology to resolve real-life problems. For this reason, we launched ET Agricultural Brain with a number of partners in the agriculture sector. We believe enhanced operating efficiency will help ensure pork supply and maintain a stable market price that will benefit enterprises and consumers alike in China. In the future, ET Agricultural Brain can be adopted across many other sectors, including forestry and fisheries, helping enterprises and individual farmers increase efficiency and improve quality of production and providing a greener and healthier option for consumers.”
In addition to Tequ Group, early adopters of ET Agricultural Brain include Haisheng Group, the leading agriculture company that operates 55 orchards of more than 4000 hectares in total and Guoqiang Modern Farming, a Shaanxi-based rural cooperative that produces high quality melons. The AI program has enhanced fruit and vegetable planting for these two producers. For Haisheng, the growth parameters of about 10,000 acres of apple trees are converged to the ET Agriculture Brain automatically, saving an estimated RMB20 million in operating costs annually for the farm. By better connecting the government, enterprises and farmers, Alibaba Cloud also helps farmers sell their fruit and vegetables more effectively, in order to increase their income.
The Computing Conference 2018: Shanghai Summit is a two-day event that gathers participants in the Alibaba Cloud ecosystem and industry practitioners from around the world to discuss the latest trends in frontier technologies, including Cloud Computing, Big Data, and AI.