The future of agriculture is computerized

Researchers in MIT’s Open Agriculture Initiative grow basil under controll

Researchers in MIT’s Open Agriculture Initiative grow basil under controlled environmental conditions to study how taste and other features are affected. Image: Melanie Gonick

Machine learning can reveal optimal growing conditions to maximize taste and other features.

MIT researchers developed a machine learning system that has identified the ideal growing conditions for basil, reports Chase Purdy for Quartz . The new system, which is available to the public for free, "could lead to an interesting new era of urban farming, in which cities can more efficiently feed themselves without relying on the costly supply chain networks that currently exists."

MIT researchers have developed a machine learning system that uncovered the ideal growing conditions for producing the most flavorful basil, reports Devin Coldewey for TechCrunch . Coldewey explains that the system recommended keeping UV lights on the plants 24/7 and found that "this produced a massive increase in flavor molecules, doubling the amount found in control plants."

Boston Globe reporter Martin Finucane writes that MIT researchers used machine learning systems and a controlled environment to create the optimal growing conditions for basil. Principal research scientist Caleb Harper explains that the experiment showed "we can use a controlled environment plus machine learning to predict forward flavor."