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Facial Recognition AI Helps Save Multibillion Dollar Grape Crop

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A research associate utilizes a phenotyping robot to analyze powdery mildew in hop and grape leaves analysis.

The technology developed by a biologist and an engineer, which uses robotics and artificial intelligence AI to identify grape plants infected with a devastating fungus, soon will be available to researchers nationwide working on a wide array of plant and

Credit: Allison Usavage

Researchers at Cornell University developed a method of protecting grape crops using robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).

Their robotic camera, called BlackBird, can scan grape leaf samples automatically for powdery mildew, a fungus known to attack wine and table grapes, costing growers billions of dollars annually.

The researchers then used AI to extract useful information from the microscopic images.

Cornell's Lance Cadle-Davidson said the "AI tools actually do a better job of explaining the genetics of these grapes than we can do sitting at a microscope for months at a time doing backbreaking work."

The researchers were awarded a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, which will be used to provide BlackBird to ARS field offices performing similar high-throughput phenotyping work on other crops.

From Cornell Chronicle

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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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