Beyond ChatGPT: AI’s Bigger Frontier

|February 25, 2023
Tractor spraying pesticides on soybean field with sprayer at spring

AI is hot.

It’s so hot, it even reached the Manward offices this week.

That’s right. We received (and signed) our first-ever AI-generated contract. (The legalese was so good, it even got the thumbs-up from our top-notch legal team.) And we learned that a research tool we use regularly will incorporate large language models – the type of technology that powers ChatGPT – in its next update.

Let it be known… if Manward’s dusty offices are starting to use artificial intelligence, it’s about to be everywhere.

Of course, ChatGPT – which Microsoft is now betting billions on – is making all the headlines. But AI has been around for decades. And now the recent buzz around one application of AI has pulled all of the AI sphere into the spotlight.

And that’s where smart investors stand to profit.

Just a few weeks ago, we talked about how investors are rushing into stocks like Nvidia (NVDA) to get in on the AI craze.

The AI pick-and-shovel play has to love the attention… Its stock is up more than 60% this year, well ahead of the Nasdaq’s 10% gain.

But that’s the obvious play in all this.

There are other exciting opportunities for investors as AI solves major, real-world problems…

Like in the agricultural sector.

Feeding 8 billion people is one of the biggest problems we face… and it’s growing more serious due to extreme weather patterns, extended drought seasons and supply chain issues.

Ag companies are using AI to predict weather conditions, adjust and reduce water usage, and detect diseases that can kill crops.

And there are many ways to invest…

Per Crunchbase, at least $400 million poured into AI-powered agtech startups in 2022., a Netherlands-based agriculture tech startup, just raised a $23 million Series A funding round for its AI platform that predicts the best growing conditions for greenhouse plants.

Last year, Soli Organic raised $125 million to grow a variety of plants indoors using automation to adjust for temperature and a special “secret sauce” soil that maximizes yield. The company is in the process of peppering indoor farms close to cities around the U.S. in hopes to drive down transportation costs and preserve freshness.

But leading the agriculture AI pack is the one and only Deere & Company (DE). The maker of John Deere tractors has been investing in data and machine learning for two decades.

Last year, the company debuted a fully autonomous tractor, powered by AI. The tractor has six pairs of cameras that capture images and pass them through a deep neural network. The images get classified in a scant 100 milliseconds to determine any obstacles in the way.

And that’s just the start. According to Julian Sanchez, the director of emerging technology at Deere, “By 2030, we want to have a fully-autonomous production system, meaning we want an autonomous combine and sprayer and tractor planter.”

The benefits are clear. AI could truly revolutionize the agricultural sector and solve one of the biggest problems we face today.

We’re so excited about the investment potential in AI that we’re devoting our next issue of Manward Letter to the topic… And in our latest conversation with legendary tech analyst Mark Mahaney, we got his thoughts on AI… where it’s headed… and what opportunities excite him the most.

Paid-up Manward Letter subscribers can see what he said right here.