When Cannabis Met Artificial Intelligence
The other day on Youtube I learned about a company called NotCo that uses Artificial Intelligence to figure out how to manipulate vegetables to resemble – molecularly – animal based foods. They have created products like NotMilk, NotMayo, NotIceCream and are working on meat-like textures and tastes.
The A.I breaks down the molecular structure of vegetables and find similarities between the molecular structures of “milk” or “mayonnaise” for instance. Then, the algorithm provides them with recipes to try and they call it a success when the taste is indistinguishable from the real thing.
While I am not a vegan or vegetarian – I’m Keto-Vegetarian as in I eat both meats and plants and grains and virtually anything edible I can find depending on how hungry I am. I do find the technology quite fascinating and wouldn’t mind eating these “NOT-Foods” if it tastes as good. I celebrate these approaches to sustainable eating as opposed to trying to push Dogmatic Eating Habits down my throat.
While talking about food is great – especially for stoners – the reason I wrote this was to check on the health of A.I and cannabis. If they are making “meat-like” food that are almost identical to the real thing – what’s happening with cannabis?
A.I for the Obvious
One of the more obvious places where A.I can be of great service to the cannabis industry is in growing. This is especially true for indoor growing facilities. A.I has the ability to provide accurate, real time, alterations in things like temperature, heat, light, humidity, PH, and more. It can detect missing nutrients, pests, root rot – you name it.
While there still isn’t a major leader within this space – it will take one smart computer-scientist/botanist to figure out how to automate the growing process.
There are some systems like the Leaf Grow Box, which is the closest thing you can commercially get to A.I Growing. Except – it’s not really A.I. You still control many aspects of it via your phone.
True A.I will be able to learn about a particular plant – would figure out more optimal ways of growing and optimal ways of utilizing resources. Nonetheless – it will not be too long until the Leaf Grow Box or some other competitor comes up with a fully-automated, A.I charged grow box that will literally require you to stock it once and collect your weed when it’s done.
Wait…it will even trim for me?
Well yes – the Robo Trimmer will eventually become more efficient than a human trimmer – and when that time comes it would be senseless to hire people. Not to mention – if you want A.I to grow the weed, you’ll probably train it to trim it for you and make byproducts with the stems, sugar leaf, etc.
Who knows how long it would be until you have a fully automated grow chamber powered by Deep-Learning Algorithms – but one could say that it is very possible [commercially] within the next 10 years if not much sooner.
Some cannabis facilities already utilize machine learning with their grows, resource management, tracking, etc.
I don’t know if anyone is mapping the Cannabis Genome [most probably] – but if you can, you should! The cannabis genome will provide information that growers would be able to use to produce cannabis plants that can produce certain cannabinoids and not others.
Some people might say that “this is too far” – just grow the weed!
And yes – that’s okay for the average grower. But if you’re going to be working on utilizing cannabinoids for medical application, having plants that can grow consistently dose congruent plants would be great. Of course – we’re still in the caveman period when it comes to A.I. While A.I is very powerful – it’s still nothing compared to the biological process that evolved over millions of years. A.I very much is still trying to play “catchup” to the human brain – and while it can outperform us in some areas – it is incredibly difficult to exactly mimic the capacities of the human brain.
Thus – A.I is still being used for these robotic tasks. These tasks that will give human intelligence information they can use to create new products – from a molecular perspective. Think of NotCo and how it could be applied to cannabis.
Cannabis is a genetically-rich and complex plant. Mapping out the genome will give us insights that will push cannabis-science into the future.
Last Words before the Machines get us!
There was a time where I would have been worried about A.I. It’s true – it can be a powerful tool that can be wielded for good or evil – however, if used properly we can open a door to a new reality that would benefit us all.
If we use it recklessly – we could doom ourselves to be bio-slaves to our machine overlords. Nonetheless – the path to whichever future utopian or dystopian scenario remains fascinating.