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There is no doubt artificial intelligence (AI) has been integrated into agriculture for some time.


Sorting, grading and packing are areas where artificial intelligence is becoming essential. Equipment gets ‘smarter’ the more volume that goes through the line. People should improve their ability to do a job after some experience but if they do not show up for their shift or have a cap on hours to work, this situation limits an operation. Equipment that continues to improve efficiency and operate longer hours are a benefit.


Now we are entering a new era where AI can impact how you interact with consumers and customers. With the option to use AI to generate information about product use and communicate with consumers, the conversation changes.


Artificial intelligence is available to everyone


Many businesses and institutions are grappling with their position about AI and where it should be used. Our daughter’s history teacher indicated a number of students had submitted an essay five minutes prior to the deadline and the submissions were very close in content. His opinion was these students had left the task to the last minute and used Chat GPT to create their essays. His position? This was not an acceptable way to write essays. We had the conversation at home. Our daughter did write her own essay, but was aware of several people in the class who said this was a great solution.


AI applications such as Chat GPT comb millions of websites for content. They use this learning to complete tasks, as directed by the user. The response time is very fast and the applications have the ability to create responses in a format suitable for different purposes. Currently, this app is free and if you have a smart phone, you have access to it.


Applications in selling your products


Food and beverage brands should communicate regularly with consumers over social media and other media channels. The AI applications can write copy for these channels and even format it to fit the platform you are using. For example, AI can write it in a style that is most effective for Facebook or LinkedIn.


Some producers maintain a database to communicate directly with consumers. This can be very effective to develop relationships, share recipes and other information about your products. The AI applications can create the content for direct communication to your community of consumers. AI can even write your holiday message to your online community if you choose to send one.


Almost every producer has a website. Many brand owners will tell you the website needs work or a refresh. AI can generate content for your website. Providing information to your target market that complements your product does increase the value of your website.


AI is an option to the traditional Google search. You can do research with AI to understand the potential for specific market segments. The difference between AI and Google is that AI will do the work for you, as opposed to going through multiple websites to get the information you need.


However, there is a caveat! With free versions of applications such as Chat GPT, you are not aware of the sources used to compile the information. We should all be wary of trusting any information gleaned from the Internet if you do not know the source. You should always check recipes to ensure they actually work in the kitchen. Remember, the power of your website is authenticity!


AI can reduce the time and energy required and give you a good starting point. You need to ensure everything you share with consumers and customers reflects your brand and how you want to be perceived in the market. We are all learning about the capabilities of AI and the applications it might have in our industry. AI in this new capacity can be perceived as incredibly powerful and game-changing or frightening and taking over what humans do. Regardless of your perspective, agriculture businesses need to assess if it will be a resource in sales and marketing.


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Submitted by Peter Chapman on 27 September 2023