Creating a Sustainable and Equitable Digital Agriculture Revolution

Posted on Tuesday, February 23, 2021


The Alex Trebek Forum for Dialogue Project on AI for Healthy Humans and Environments at the AI + Society Initiative presents,
in collaboration with the University of Ottawa Centre for Law, Technology and Society, Institute for Science, Society and Policy, and Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics:


Creating a Sustainable and Equitable Digital Agriculture Revolution


Kelly Bronson, Ranveer Chandra, and Giuliano Tolusso


Tuesday, February 23, 2021
at 12:00 ET


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Join us for a conversation on agricultural innovation and how to design public policy for a more sustainable and inclusive future.

Emergent agricultural innovations in big data and AI have the potential to revolutionize food production for the better – making it easier, more productive, and more sustainable. Sensors embedded in farm equipment collect data, and sophisticated computing is being used to “mine” datasets for insights on how to optimize the use of scarce or harmful farm inputs like pesticides and water. However, like past innovations, digital innovations may replicate inequities in Canada’s food system and beyond. In this panel, you will hear from representatives from the government, industry, and academia who are devoted to ensuring that the so-called “digital revolution in agriculture” contributes to both equity and sustainability. For example, panelists will discuss innovation projects that focus on the needs of small and diverse farms – ones who contribute vital ecosystem services and thus contribute to global climate resilience. Panelists will discuss work that furthers Canada’s leadership on both inclusive innovation and climate adaptation and mitigation.


About the Panelists

Dr. Kelly Bronson is the Canadian Research Chair in Science and Society at the University of Ottawa, and the Research Lead on AI and Environment at the AI + Society Initiative. She is an Assistant Professor within the School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences, and a Faculty member at the Centre for Law, Technology, and Society. Dr. Bronson is a social scientist studying science-society tensions that erupt around controversial technologies and their governance. Her research aims to bring community values into conversation with technical knowledge in the production of evidence-based decision-making.

Ranveer Chandra is the Chief Scientist of Microsoft Azure Global, and Partner Researcher at Microsoft Research. He started the FarmBeats project at Microsoft in 2015 and has been leading it since then. He is also leading the battery research project and the white space networking project at Microsoft Research.

Giuliano Tolusso is Deputy Director within the Innovation and Growth Policy Division of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Strategic Policy Branch. He leads a small team of policy analysts who focus on the socio-economic impacts of new and emerging technologies like precision, cellular, and controlled environment agriculture to determine their effects on farmers, consumers, competitiveness, and the environment.



This event will be in English only.
This event will be recorded.

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