AI integration in agriculture gains momentum with advanced language models
AI integration in agriculture gains traction, with companies like OpenAI’s ChatGPT leading the way.
Large language model (LLM) algorithms offered by various companies, including Anthropic, Cohere, Databricks, Google AI, Meta AI, Salesforce, etc., equipped to answer queries.
Technicians bridging the gap between farmers and machinery may soon have access to AI for instant assistance.
Larry Hertz, VP of the North American Equipment Dealers Association, highlights the need for improved customer support due to technician shortages.
Two companies, one in Indiana and another in Canada, leverage AI to streamline access to extensive documentation and improve support services.
Headsight AI model significantly enhances product support, with gains in response accuracy, independent issue resolution, and response times.
VisorPro AI solution by AGvisorPro connects farmers with experts, addressing the bottleneck between questions and answers at dealerships.
Positive adoption by dealerships in Saskatchewan, Montana, and other regions, promising efficiency and innovation in customer service.
Main AI News:
In recent times, the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into the agricultural industry has become a tangible reality. Last year, OpenAI unveiled ChatGPT, marking a significant milestone in the adoption of cloud-based AI. Today, a multitude of companies, including Anthropic, Cohere, Databricks, Google AI, Meta AI, and Salesforce, are offering various iterations of large language model (LLM) algorithms.
These advanced models are equipped with extensive datasets and language capabilities, empowering them to provide answers to a wide array of inquiries. While technicians at service desks have traditionally served as the intermediary between farmers and their machinery, the prospect of an “AI button” on their keyboards that instantly delivers solutions is gaining momentum.
Larry Hertz, Vice President for Canada at the North American Equipment Dealers Association, acknowledges the challenges faced by the association’s 4,000 members in meeting the demands of customers during busy seasons. He notes, “In any state or province, most dealers are hard-pressed to have enough technicians. If they can make the technicians more effective or efficient, that’s better for farmers and the industry.”
What every service desk does possess is a treasure trove of documentation, including service manuals, operator guides, parts catalogs, and technical manuals, along with internet access. Addressing the technician shortage, two companies have recently leveraged AI to harness this wealth of information. An Indiana-based firm has introduced AI support for service desks, streamlining access to existing documentation. Simultaneously, a Canadian consulting company is developing an LLM system app, facilitating the seamless integration of data resources with AI models for dealerships.
Headsight AI Model – Enhancing Support for Farmers
Headsight Harvesting Solutions, headquartered in Bremen, Indiana, has been at the forefront of precision agriculture since the 2000s. The company, now part of AGCO, offers a range of products for automatic height control and row guidance, revolutionizing corn header control. In 2022, the Headsight technical support line logged an impressive 2,000 hours of questions and answers.
Bernardo Ferreira, General Manager at Headsight, and his leadership team recognized the potential of ChatGPT in improving their support services. Their solution involved uploading digital transcripts of those 2,000 hours of Q&A into an AI model, alongside every page of documentation, comprising approximately 5,000 documents. Privacy considerations were paramount, ensuring that no personal information was included in the AI database.
After nine weeks of dedicated effort by a team of over ten individuals, a functional AI model capable of addressing technical queries was deployed in mid-September. Ferreira reports, “The model is already being used by our product support team, resulting in three key benefits: an increased rate of correct responses on the first try, a higher percentage of initial callers resolving their issues without assistance from senior team members, and quicker response times.”
This initiative is an ongoing endeavor, primarily focused on enhancing service quality rather than cost-cutting. Ferreira adds, “It’s not about cutting costs; it’s about serving people. We anticipate significant improvements, with gains of over 10 percentage points in each of these areas.“
VisorPro AI Solution – Bridging the Gap
AGvisorPro, established in Calgary, Alberta, in 2018 by Robert Saik and Patrick Walther, connects farmers with questions to experts and organizations with answers. The company’s innovative approach gained momentum with the advent of ChatGPT. The challenge was to train the AI model while safeguarding privacy, with the ultimate goal of alleviating the bottleneck between questions and answers at dealerships.
Brock Moir, Chief Product Officer at AGvisorPro, brought his extensive experience in physics and AI to develop a solution. Several dealerships from Saskatchewan and Montana embraced the VisorPro LLM after its launch on July 6, with assurance of data security in the OpenAI LLM cloud.
The success of VisorPro extends beyond agriculture, as Saik notes, “Wherever there are technicians who need to constantly refer back to specifications and technical manuals, there’s interest. People outside the farm equipment space [are] reaching out to figure how they can become part of it. It would be good for heavy industry, airlines, automotive, construction, forestry, even the RV industry.“
Prominent dealerships like Young’s Equipment and Torgerson’s LLC have already embraced this transformative technology. Sean Young, Assistant General Manager at Young’s Equipment, emphasizes the revolutionary impact, stating, “The ability to streamline our support process using AI technology will revolutionize our customer service offering and set a new standard in the dealership landscape.”
Brion Torgerson, CEO of Torgerson’s LLC, hails it as a game-changing opportunity that accelerates the service process during peak seasons. Preparations are underway to equip dealers for spring, with ongoing training and updates to enhance the value of VisorPro.
The integration of AI into agricultural customer service is rapidly reshaping the market, offering increased efficiency and responsiveness. This transformative technology has the potential to revolutionize not only agriculture but also various other industries, setting new standards in customer support and technical assistance.