Bioengineer Keenan Pinto designed an application that helps hydroponic farmers “talk” to their plants.
I meet Keenan Pinto at Space10, an IKEA-backed future-living lab in Copenhagen, where the 27-year-old bioengineer helped build Sprout, an application on Google’s AI platform that facilitates “dialogue” between people and plants. It’s like Siri for hydroponics. Inside a tiny pink-hued room sit trays of soilless plants equipped with sensors, which communicate with a server and a chatbot that “talks” through a small speaker. Pinto says, “Hey, Google, let me talk to Sprout,” and a female voice answers, “Hello, everyone, welcome to the Farm.” Pinto asks the bot what it does, and “she” responds: “I monitor parameters like the pH level, nutrient level, light, humidity and temperature. Do you want to know more about anything specific?” Users can ask any question about what the plants need to thrive and Sprout provides answers based on data Pinto has fed into the program…[READ MORE]