Artificial Intelligence

AI can now farm crickets (and hopefully solve world hunger in the process)

Earth’s expanding population and unequal distribution of natural resources are pushing the planet towards a food insecurity crisis.

One solution to the problem is adding an unusual ingredient to our diets: crickets.

The insects have a high protein content and low environmental footprint that could provide a sustainable alternative to meat and fish.

They might not have the most appetizing appearance, but looks can be deceiving: crickets are renowned for their subtle nutty flavor, crunchy texture, and exquisite astringency.

At least, that’s what I’ve been told. My religious beliefs sadly forbid me from indulging in the delicacy — but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out. And thanks to AI, the chirpy critters could be arriving on your plate sooner than you think.

A team led by the Aspire Food Group plans to bring the creatures from farm to fork by building the world’s first fully automated insect manufacturing site.

The crickets will then be turned into food products, including protein powder and bars.

[Read: How do you build a pet-friendly gadget? We asked experts and animal owners]

The project is the first time that industrial automation, IoT, robotics, and AI will be deployed in climate-controlled, indoor vertical agriculture with living organisms.