$2M NSF grant to train NMSU’s future ag and AI researchers

LAS CRUCES – “Do Androids dream of electric sheep?” was the title of a science fiction novel set in the late 1960s. While future robots may not dream of sheep, they may herd them, as the impact of artificial intelligence on agriculture leads to automated livestock farming and technology that increases food security in arid regions like those in the western US

“Imagine if there were no more cowboys on horseback chasing cattle,” said Enrico Pontelli, dean of New Mexico State University’s College of Arts and Sciences and a Regents Professor of computer science. “We could remotely direct livestock from water source to water source and prevent overgrazing of different regions. The power of automation will be enormous.”

NMSU recently received a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) program. Pontelli is the principal investigator of the project titled “Artificial Intelligence for Arid Land Agriculture (AIALA). Co-principal investigators in NMSU’s College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences include Lara Prihodko, associate professor of pasture ecology and Hatim Geli, a assistant professor of animal and dissemination sciences Son Tran, professor of computer science and department head, and Huiping Cao, professor of computer science, are also co-principal investigators on the project.

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