It’s 2022, and developments in the AI industry are off to a slow — but nonetheless eventful — start. While the spread of the Omicron variant put a damper on in-person conferences, enterprises aren’t letting the pandemic disrupt the course of technological progress.
John Deere previewed a tractor that uses AI to find a way to a field on its own and plow the soil without instructions. As Wired’s Will Knight point outs, it and — self-driving tractors like it — could help to address the growing labor shortage in agriculture; employment of agriculture workers is expected to increase just 1% from 2019 to 2029. But they also raise questions about vendor lock-in and the role of human farmers alongside robots.