Ken Goldberg and the Automated Polyculture Garden

11 Apr, 2020

Ken Goldberg and the Automated Polyculture Garden

BCNM Professor and Laboratory for Automation Science and Engineering (AUTOLAB) Director Ken Goldberg was recently featured in VentureBeat for AUTOLAB's development of a polyculture garden, or a garden that grows multiple species of plants together. Through this endeavor, Goldberg and AUTOLAB are looking to see if this process can be fully automated with artificial intelligence.

From the article:

AUTOLAB director Ken Goldberg said the goal is to find out if AI can learn a function as complex as polyculture gardening, or farming with multiple species of plants growing alongside one another, instead of monoculture growing, a single-crop strategy commonly practiced today.

“I think that’s an open question. I don’t know if we can,” he said. “It certainly might be interesting to be able to have a fully automated garden. In my own view it’s probably unlikely to be viable as a real functioning productive garden. I think that it’s going to be very hard to learn, and that’s the art side of the lesson, which is that nature is very complex, and that we can put some very complex machinery on it, but it’s not going to necessarily open up and be controllable.”

Read more about AUTOLAB's endeavor and the rest of the article here!