Agriculture is undergoing a new technology revolution. While smart technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, robotics, and the Internet of Things, could play an important role in achieving enhanced productivity and greater eco-efficiency, critics have suggested that the consideration of social and ethical implications is being side-lined.
What role is there for responsible innovation?
Research illustrates that some farmers are concerned about using certain smart technologies. Indeed, some studies argue that agricultural societies may be changed, or 're-scripted', in undesirable ways, and there is precedent to suggest that wider society may be concerned about radical new agricultural technologies.
This talk draws on empirical research conducted in England and Wales about how the fourth agricultural revolution might change life on the farm, sometimes in undesirable ways. In making the argument that there will be losers, as well as winners, in this revolution, the talk then speculates on the place of responsible innovation.
It focuses particularly on the issue of inclusion: who should be included in agri-tech development, why, and how? Will the views of diverse publics be taken into account and what might be the best ways for innovators to come to know what people think about their technologies? The talk identifies different methods for co-designing innovations with end users and other publics and sets out future empirical work which will assess the usefulness of each method.