04/11/2024 | Universität Hohenheim | News

Hybrid Intelligence: Pioneering Approach Can Reconcile Biodiversity & Agriculture

A research team at University of Hohenheim and Technical University of Munich has developed a new transdisciplinary approach to resolve the tradeoff between biodiversity and agricultural production.

Preserving biodiversity without reducing agricultural productivity: So far, these two goals could not be reconciled because the socio-ecological system of agriculture is highly complex, and the interactions between humans and the environment are difficult to capture using conventional methods. Thanks to new technology, a research team at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart and the Technical University of Munich is showing a promising way to achieve both goals at the same time. The members of the team are focusing on further developing artificial intelligence in combination with collective human judgment: the use of hybrid intelligence. They are publishing their thought-provoking article in the current issue of Nature Food. DOI: www.nature.com/articles/s43016-024-00963-6

Technological progress enables new interaction between humans and machines

A 13-person team with precisely this expertise joined forces to develop a transdisciplinary approach – exploiting the new possibilities offered by artificial intelligence in merging and processing large volumes of data. The authors of the publication refer to this combination as “hybrid intelligence.”

“By combining the intuitive abilities of humans with the computing power of modern computers and the analytical capabilities of artificial intelligence, for the first time we can develop human-machine systems that successfully address complexity in agriculture,” said Prof. Berger.

One component of such systems are computer models with what the team refers to as “multi-agent technology” for the various ecological, social, and economic processes. By enriching these models with artificial intelligence, the research team aims to create a detailed, interactive image of reality in which various biodiversity measures and effects can be simulated and stakeholders can be supported in joint decision-making.

Further information

Contact for press:

Prof. Dr. Thomas Berger, University of Hohenheim, Department of Land Use Economics & Computational Science Hub,
T +49 711 459 24116, E thomas.berger@uni-hohenheim.de

Prof. Dr. Senthold Asseng, Technical University Munich, Chair of Digital Agriculture & HEF World Agricultural Systems Center,
T +49 8161 71-2900, E senthold.asseng@tum.de

Prof. Dr. Claudia Bieling, University of Hohenheim, Department of Societal Transition and Agriculture,
T +49 711 459-24029, E claudia.bieling@uni-hohenheim.de

Prof. Dr. Henner Gimpel, University of Hohenheim, Department of Digital Management & Computational Science Hub,
T +49 711 459 24051, E henner.gimpel@uni-hohenheim.de

Publication in Nature Food: https://www.nature.com/articles/s43016-024-00963-6