By Aki Ito in Bloomberg
Each morning when she gets to work at Bowery Farming Inc., Katie Morich changes into a clean uniform, puts on a hairnet and cleans her hands with sanitizer. Then she consults a computer monitor displaying all the tasks she needs to accomplish that day. The to-do list’s author isn’t human; it’s a piece of proprietary software that uses reams of data collected at the indoor farm to make important decisions: how much to water each plant, the intensity of light required, when to harvest and so forth. In short, Morich and her fellow human farmers do what the computer tells them to do.
Morich, 25, doesn’t mind taking orders from a computer. “I guess I do kind of report to the Bowery Operating System,” she laughs, referring to the software her employer developed to run the so-called vertical farm in a New Jersey industrial park. Bowery says the machines are constantly learning how to grow crops more effectively and are more than a match for the intuition of a seasoned farmer.