BreakThrough Study Idea

Automation of agriculture, unmanned brings "A society where you can live without working."Masayuki Hirafuji<Series 4 / complete>

Study Idea

2018.05.11

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"Clothes" and "Housing" are no longer necessary for society

I have been studying AI (artificial intelligence) since the last AI boom, and I have been researching for about 30 years. At the time, the performance of the computer was prolonged, and it was only possible to make a small application limited domain. The further big problem is that in the agriculture field we realize that there are very few data on the environment and plant growth and we are developing field servers to collect big data, that is, a significant amount of data. During this time, the performance of the computer increased dramatically; it became one million times faster. At that time, the quantum computer that was thought to be a far-future computer was already sold although it is flying from D-Wave. We expect that it will give us infinite computing power at a pace that exceeds Moore's Law in the future. With the spread of quantum computer, while various things are possible, our industrial life will be forced to sudden change.

We live in the era of competing with IoT, big data, AI, quantum computers. It is said that this will reduce the work of human beings, but in reality, it is not entirely so. Taking the IT field as an example, humans have made extra work by subdividing occupations, such as programmers, system engineers, project managers, and so far. This is precisely work sharing. Although I will describe it later, "I can not eat without working," so even if it is wasteful work, we will try to do a job forcibly. Though it is not a meaningful job, people shared jobs and worked. Things indispensable for daily life are called "Food, clothing, and housing," but even if you are wearing the same clothes, you can live. It has become clear that residences can be dispensed with without the presence of Nomad workers. If you can do something like Iron Man's powered suit with a life support system, the house will be unnecessary. But food is not applied. Naturally, humans can not live without eating. If a war broke out and it became a burned land like just after the end of the war, what does it mean for expensive brand products? People who can produce food are influential. Historically, food was an essential strategic item in any age. In the Warring States Period, attacking the military was a handy and dangerous weapon. In recent years, one of the fiery conflicts in Iraq and others is said to have decreased the production of wheat around that. Even if it is noted that cereal production will be insufficient due to the increase in population and increase in meat consumption in the future, Japan will not be pinned as the population is decreasing. Moreover, it has not lived until then. However, it has become 100 years of life. If you are 100 years in life, you may experience food shortage.

Agriculture has the potential to change the world

To eat, we have to work but in the situation that the work decreases, waiting for the future where IoT, AI, quantum computer, etc. are popular is a super competition society that deprives the remaining work. Even if you predict such a future, it is in an era when it is evaluated that "Creating a job" is also valued if it is wasteful work. Typical examples are excel grid paper, accountability, enhanced compliance, regulations strengthening and subcontracted division of software development. For example, Excel grid paper. This is a simple design of a simple form with ruled lines that I use only for inputting data with Excel. I worked on improving the appearance by using the time I had floated with the introduction of Excel. Although it looks better, right looking is meaningless. We will significantly increase not only the working hours used to create Excel grid paper but also the working hours of others. For employees, faculty, staff, customers, etc., it is necessary to enter characters in the form. As a result, IT progresses as a result so that everyone's working hours do not decrease. If you do these things everywhere, employment will be protected. However, as these extra and useless work increases, not only will productivity drop, but also leisure and income will not increase, everyone will be equal and hard and sociable.

When my work is hard, we are in a psychological chain structure that feels that "Work of others must also be painful." Going back to this chain, we get to agriculture. No matter how hard it is to produce food, someone has to do. Everyone has to do a painful job with "Do not eat even if you do not work." Automation of agriculture will eliminate anxiety about food, and it will be a beginning to break this structure. Even food will somehow stop working. Automation and unmanned agriculture have the potential to change the world. Guarantee minimum food supply to the people. This is called "Minimum food." If you turn the "Fruit" of food production automation into the minimum food, people who will feel free to challenge risky start-up, people who enjoy manufacturing and creation, and who develops research and development as a hobby will come out. Leonardo da Vinci drew his favorite picture under the patronage of the aristocrat, and he was studying interests as expected, now it was neat. Even without work, there are many people like Leonardo da Vinci who want to spend all of their lives in research if you can eat it.

Researchers who want to devote themselves to "Research of hobbies" and "Exciting excitement" also "Can not eat without working." I have been looking for ways to correct such a situation well. Therefore, we have tried to create a mechanism that individual research can do with their personal research. As one of them, I made a co-working laboratory in Tsukuba city, Ibaraki prefecture. In it "Fab Lab" was made. "Fablabo" is a research facility proposed by Neil Gassinfeld of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which citizens can freely make on their own. Recently, manufacturing facilities have been built in various places by business and public services, diversification of Fabrabo is proceeding. In Shenzhen, China, it has evolved into a startup incubator and accelerator. However, Shenzhen's case is too close to the business. I would like to have hobby research and a place to play exciting. It attracts a lot of people and may become business as well. "Tokachi Sarabetsu Netsu Elementary School" in Sarabetsu village, Hokkaido also had a concept close to that. In search of CREST's experiment at the farm of Sarabetsu village, if I was looking for a space to use for assembling equipment, I just moved in because the space in the enthusiastic elementary school was empty. Activity as an enthusiastic elementary school is just looking at the side, but the top of listed companies and others came to visit and is booming. In Tokachi, smart agriculture-related startups have appeared one after another, and synergistic effects with these activities are beginning to appear. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 's "Media Lab" has the moment of making food oneself in research on small plant cultivation equipment called food computer. In the MIT where the world's most advanced knowledge gathers, it is not a coincidence that food is drawing attention.

Automation and unmanned agriculture is a significant epoch in human history. With the evolution of AI and IoT, in the future it will be the era when data becomes the leading role, so we are considering a business model in a way that we can offer field servers free of charge. We are also planning to put to practical use such as super high function AI field server, walking field server, safe and highly functional agricultural drone. By distributing the merits of automation of agriculture and unmanned, we are living in an age where freeing of "Minimum food necessary for survival" is theoretically possible. Freeing "Minimal food" will be a catalyst for "Everyone to change a hard society." However, to make it a society where you can live without hard work, it is necessary to mass-produce intellectual property such as breeds and cultivation methods. As we have stated so far, big data is indispensable for the mass production of intellectual property. The challenge to "Changing the world" is just beginning.

Data farm that produces data and intellectual property with IoT, drone, AI (Sarabetsu village, Hokkaido)

< series 4 / complete >


Masayuki Hirafuji
University of Tokyo graduate school Agricultural Life Science Graduate School attached Ecological Harmonization Agriculture Organization International Field Phenomenic Research Base Appointed Professor Dream Science Holdings Co., Ltd. · CEO

1983 Graduated from the University of Tokyo Life Science course. He experiences such as Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries · Agricultural Research Center (Current Agricultural Research Organization) Chief Researcher, Research Agency for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Technology Conference Secretariat, and Director of Agricultural Research Institute so far. He specializes in computational biology, modeling and measurement control of biological and ecological systems, research on space farms, comfortable living spaces, using IT, complex systems, artificial ecosystem technology.

◇Main book
"Bioexpert systems - AI/neurocomputing in biological production" (Corona Inc.) published in April 1990

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