MIT AI vegetable planting project was shut down, and foreign media rated it as “cutting leeks”

Time:2021-9-18

MIT AI vegetable planting project was shut down, and foreign media rated it as

Technical editor: Zong Enyi from sifou Office
SegmentFault has he reported the official account number: SegmentFault


The AI crop cultivation project of Massachusetts Institute of technology was permanently shut down in late April because of fraud.

This project is called “open agriculture program”, which was led and implemented by Caleb Harper, the former chief research scientist of MIT Media Laboratory, since 2015. The main product is a tetragonal portable closed box similar to a mini incubator, which is called a personal food computer.

The hardware and software of personal food computers are all open source, so that more people can do indoor agricultural experiments. PFC is equipped with production devices for the conditions required for crop growth, including plant hydroponic tray, led, sensor, pump, fan and control electronic equipment. Through open source computer software, PFC claims that it can cultivate a variety of plants. As long as different plant growth custom codes are downloaded, people can control the parameters such as light, humidity, nutrient composition and pH value in the closed box to help plant growth.

Caleb Harper, called charity, actually cuts leeks

The project claims to be able to use deep learning to grow vegetables. It will also collect computer data on food from all over the world, and then use machine learning algorithms to provide plants around the world with an environment “recipe” more suitable for their habits.

Harper has planned the development route for this product, starting from helping Syrian refugees grow vegetables, gradually extending to the exploration of future agricultural development, and finally building a global digital farm so that people can grow their favorite plants freely.

Unfortunately, in a review in 2020, the Massachusetts Department of environmental protection imposed a fine of US $25125 on MIT for the project because the openag project discharged the used plant growth solution and diluted cleaning solution into the underground discharge control well, which violated the relevant provisions of the underground well registration terms.

Subsequently, a survey by IEEE spectrum showed that Harper’s remarks about the deployment of PFC in refugee camps between 2017 and 2019 proved to be lying. The product function of PFC has not been realized.

Caleb Harper is also considered to be the “leek” of cutting investors. According to the company’s filing documents and fenome’s internal documents mastered by spectrum, Harper raised $4 million for his company fenome during the project.

Project official website:

https://www.media.mit.edu/gro…