Journal 2020#2


Prospects of Applying Artificial Intelligence Technologies in the Regional Agriculture

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The paper analyses the prospects of applying artificia l intelligenc e (AI ) technologie s i n agricultur e o f Sverdlovs k oblast. This topic is currently relevant, as in the context of the rapid technological development and various innovations in the digital sphere; there is still considerable uncertainty about using AI in agricultural production. During the preparatory phase, an analysis of publications in the Web of Science (WoS) allowed to identify the nature and scope of the application of AI technologies in agriculture. Relying on a survey of managers from 55 agricultural organizations, the study determines the problems and prospects of using AI technologies in the regional agriculture. The respondents claim it is appropriate to use AI technologies for producing livestock products (26.0 %) and ensuring animal welfare (18.5 %). Considering the application of such technologies, the respondents expect an increase in production (23.2 %) and a decrease in costs (20.3 %). More than half of the respondents express their belief that AI technologists will significantly change agricultural production, reducing low-skilled labour employment while creating new jobs in the intellectual sphere. However, a positive perception of AI technologies may be the reason for somewhat unrealistic expectations from their use. A large part of the surveyed managers (65.5 %) presumes that these technologies will increase the production profitability, even though only 9.8% of the respondents are currently using them. The application of AI technologies in the regional agriculture is limited due to their high cost and the lack of funds. In order to overcome these constraints, it is necessary to increase state support and train staff. AI technologies will enable forecast accuracy in various areas of agriculture that will attract additional investments in the regional agriculture. Executive authorities can use the research results for creating programs of digital agriculture development.