AI And Big Data Are Ready To Transform Canada's Natural Resources Sector

By Hang Nguyen Thursday, December 20, 2018
AI and Big data have already put their very first steps in transforming Canada’s natural resource sector. Want to know more? Please take a look at our article.


Natural resources have never failed to capture people’s attention. Nowadays, with the fast-paced development of unsustainable smokestack industry and the rise of population growth rate, humans are facing with numerous difficulties, especially natural resources shortage.

Also, after a hundred years of developing heavy industry, our mother nature has been suffering a lot of severe damage. Luckily, humans realize timely how vital nature is and decide to save our planet before it’s too late.

Thanks to the continuous effort of finding ways to transform our seriously damaged home into a green one as it was used to be, we finally have the proper solutions. They are AI and Big Data. Keep scrolling down and reading to find out how AI and Big Data will “reblossom” our nature.

AI and Big Data play a role in Canada’s natural resources sector

Tyler Hamilton has worked hard with a large number of Canada’s cleantech companies as advisers to build up the Farmers Edge Inc.

Unlike what you think, this Winnipeg-based company isn’t a normal agricultural company which specializes in harvesting lentils, corn, and wheat. It’s collecting and farming data.

According to Kevin Grant – Chief technology officer of the Farmers Edge Inc. Company, Farmers Edge Inc. is ingesting a large number of terabytes of satellite imagery data.

Up to now, it has got thousands of sensors which provide precise information on a per-second, per-minute or daily basis.

All collected information is gathered from a large number of farms across the United States, Canada and overseas, includes everything from weather and soil conditions to evidence of pets and rot, farm equipment’s performance.

Information comes from a wide variety of sources such as in-field sensors, Farmers Edge’s weather stations or third-party databases.

In the end, the purpose of Farmers Edge is lowering cost and decreasing crop yield by supporting farmers to make better decisions about precisely where and when to plant, irrigate, fertilize and harvest.

Currently, Farmers Edge is turning to other sorts of artificial intelligence and machine-learning technology as the amount of data is incredibly rising.

These smart technologies will help discover trends and patterns which are hardly seen by human labor and conventional agronomics.

Mr.Grant shared to us that AI and big data are gradually disrupting what’s been done in agronomy. However, Farmer Edge has gone out of its way to tease out the perfection from the data it collects.
Apart from AI and big data, Internet of Things (IoT) and its quickly expanding network of data-gathering and budget-friendly sensors will touch all information from dairy farming to aquaculture.
Let’s take Fredericton-based SomaDetect as an obvious example; it makes use of optical sensors to keep track fat, antibiotic levels, protein and other biochemical markers in milk which flows from the cow’s udder.

As the amount of gathered data increases significantly, machine-learning algorithms are set up to immediately discover abnormalities which can indicate an infectious disease or destroy a large batch.
What is more, thanks to valuable information, farmers are capable of taking action timely to protect the herd and maintain batch quality.

Move on to a well-known and smart precision aquaculture venture called XpertSea; it developed a smart bucket which uses machine learning and computer vision technology to count, categorize and define the size of species from fish hatcheries and massive shrimp.

It is proper, fast and effective. It helps fish farms reduce labor and protect fish from undesired diseases from overfeeding.

Additionally, it allows you to look at historical trends that reveal how to upgrade operations and grow healthier, bigger and more profitable fish inventories.

In Deveron UAS of Toronto, they use sensor-equipped machine learning technology to analyze pumpkins’ size distribution and allow farmers to quickly and precisely estimate yield per acre before dealing with retailers.

And of course, AI applies to numerous fields. In energy and mining field, AI helps stay globally competitive industry.

According to Chief Innovation Officer at Barrick Gold – Michelle Ash, AI helps them to accomplish 2 things faster.

Firstly, it finds out solutions to their current questions. Secondly and more importantly, it knows the answers to questions that they don’t even ask.

MineSense – a Vancouver-based company has already used machine learning to gather and analyze data from sensors installed on buckets, conveyor systems, and shovels that move ore such as copper, iron, zinc or nickel.

This outstanding technology scans for electromagnetic signature and makes use of X-rays to detect metal concentrations in each shovel load quickly.

Higher ability to adapt results in reduced use of water, chemicals, and energy.

The bottom line is that by applying AI, machine learning and big data, we could grow more food with less energy, fertilizer, and water. We can also extract metals and minerals from the ground with less waste and fuel.


To sum up, AI and big data are highly beneficial for us. They help us work effectively, increase our productivity and save lots of energy.

Thank you so much for spending your specious time to have a look at our article. Keep following our blog to read more interesting and useful posts. Love you to the moon and back.

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