University of Florida Focusing on AI

Ernie NeffTechnology

Arnold Schumann

Researchers with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) are working as teams to use artificial intelligence (AI) to attack complex issues.

An example of such team work is Arnold Schumann, a professor at the Citrus Research and Education Center, working with weed scientist Nathan Boyd at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center. They use machine vision-guided herbicide spraying to surgically remove unwanted weeds from rows of crops.

“Our engineers are world class, and they often work with computer models and huge data sets,” said Scott Angle, administrative leader of UF/IFAS. “Using AI, many of our scientists will collaborate with our esteemed entomologists, horticulturalists, plant pathologists, soil scientists and more to take a global look at growing anything in Florida with reduced impact on the environment.” Angle is UF vice president of agriculture and natural resources.

The UF/IFAS teams are part of a university-wide push to increase AI research.


The overarching goal of UF’s artificial intelligence initiative is to harness the transformational potential for AI to benefit Florida, the United States and the world. UF is doing this by developing world-class academic and research leadership in artificial intelligence, integrating AI across academic disciplines, developing an AI-enabled workforce and fueling the state and national economy.

To help UF/IFAS in its research, many faculty will now be able to use the UF supercomputer known as the HiPerGator, which is the most powerful supercomputer in Florida, the most powerful university computer in the South and the third-fastest university supercomputer in the country.

Multiple UF/IFAS scientists received funding from the university’s AI Research Catalyst Fund. With the fund, UF is investing $1 million across the university with 20 faculty teams receiving $50,000 each. AI research will include robotic applications such as harvesting and precision herbicide application.

Follow UF/IFAS progress in AI research here.

Source: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

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