AI-Driven Climate-Smart Beekeeping for Women | 2021 Project Report
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Sarah-Beth Hopton, Max Rünzel, Laura Becker. (4/7/2022). AI-Driven Climate-Smart Beekeeping for Women | 2021 Project Report. Boone, United States of America: Appalachian State University.
The AI-Driven Climate-Smart Beekeeping (AID-CSB) for Women project worked with beekeepers in Uzbekistan and Ethiopia to co-design and localize the “Beekeeper’s Companion”, a climate-smart information communication technology for development (ICT4D) app designed to support beekeepers’ hive management practices and improve honey production. AID-CSB’s ambition is to work towards applying advanced machine learning models on standardized biodiversity data by mitigating bias and maintaining spatial and temporal accuracy. To do this, the project leverages the participation of women beekeepers and national experts and incorporates their traditional and local knowledge into the algorithms that will push information to the beekeepers. Recognizing the need for an agricultural solution that does not require more time from women, the app was designed so that uploading data points requires a minimal time investment. For example, recording information on a hive inspection can be done with a simple swipe gesture in under five seconds. The following report frames AID-CSB activities within the environmental, human rights, and digital contexts in Uzbekistan and Ethiopia; details the preliminary findings of a series of user-tests and iterative participatory application designs of the app; and provides recommendations for bringing the app to scale in Uzbekistan, Ethiopia, and beyond. Lessons learned include the limits of localization, and the careful communication and numerous iterations required to mitigate issues of language, scalability, bias, access and cultural norms around women and technology.
- Agricultural Research Knowledge