Microsoft AI to Win Greenhouse Competition

Five AI systems from different teams took part in cucumber growth competition
17 December 2018   1113

From August to December, five teams from technology companies and universities from different countries participated in the competition for growing cucumbers in autonomous greenhouses. Irrigation, fertilizing, temperature control and other factors were controlled by artificial intelligence. The best result was shown by the Sonoma team from Microsoft Research. In addition, it reached a yield of 50 kilograms of cucumbers per square meter.

The results of the participants were evaluated by three parameters:

  1. net profit (market value of the harvested crop minus water, energy, and labor) was 50% of the final estimate;
  2. the use of artificial intelligence (reliability of the algorithm, the effectiveness of its strategy) - 30%;
  3. system stability (water, carbon dioxide and energy per kilogram of cucumbers) - 20%.

The Microsoft Research team achieved the highest yield and net profit. The second place was taken by the team from Tencent - their algorithm showed the best strategy for the use of resources. Third place went to The Croperators team from Delphy and AgroEnergy.

The jury noted that the control group of agronomists, which grew cucumbers on their own, used less electricity than any of the teams with AI. At the same time, it lost only to the team from Microsoft in terms of net profit.

According to the founders, the purpose of the competition was not to start building autonomous greenhouses around the world. The organizers wanted to know at what stage of development artificial intelligence is and what is its advantage over people in the agrarian sphere.

AI to Recognize Text Written by Invisible Keyboard

Developers said they tried to increase the typing speed on the on-screen keyboards
06 August 2019   152

Korean developers have created an algorithm that recognizes text printed on an imaginary keyboard on a touchscreen. Such a “keyboard” is not tied to a specific area on the screen, and the “keys” are not limited to clear squares.

As a result, a person types blindly in a QWERTY layout without thinking about where the keyboard should be and whether it got into the key.

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According to the developers, they tried to increase the typing speed on the on-screen keyboards. The on-screen keyboard, unlike the hardware keyboard, does not offer feedback that confirms pressing. There is a risk to miss and not press the desired button. Because of this, people endlessly stare at the screen and eventually print more slowly.

The new algorithm allows you not to worry about this, you can enter text from memory, and the keyboard with 96% accuracy will guess what the person wanted to say. Tests have shown that the average typing speed on an imaginary keyboard is slightly less than on a hardware keyboard: 45 words per minute versus 51.