As automation is gradually transforming agriculture, what would happen if artificial intelligence learned to farm and cook?
Tuda Syuda is a terraforming platform led by a dialogue between two artificial intelligence systems, Chef and Farmer. In their interplay, they generate experimental new dishes and terrain-scale interiors. Developed by The New Normal researchers at Strelka Institute, the speculative design project explores the opportunities posed by emerging technologies and applies them to abandoned Soviet-era farmland near Moscow.
Meaning “back and forth” in Russian, Tuda Syuda began by asking how the ritual acts of eating and shaping landscapes can be put into more explicit interplay to the benefit of both.
Human users order dishes – and thus landscapes – from the outer layers of an immersive interface that renders the negotiation between the two AI systems.
The project has been developed by Ivan Puzyrev, Thomas Grogan, Liudmila Savelieva, and Paul van Herk.
Central to the platform are two co-operative AI systems called Chef and Farmer that run a relentless 'negotiation' of requests and suggestions. Chef requests the necessary ingredients from Farmer to generate experimental new dishes for human subscribers, while Farmer manages the complex elemental arrangement of its growing sites through extensive IoT and spatial sensing.
Farmer also suggests new hybrid food products that are in line with what its synthetic landscape 'wants,' and Chef suggests new hybrid growing spaces that it thinks will produce the culinary qualities it seeks.
Both AIs misunderstand the other's conceptions of food-ness and landscape-ness because of their different sensing inputs, creating correlating – yet strange – outputs.
Having two AIs instead of one introduces checks and balances to the operation. As both AIs
optimize in their own ways and to their own ends, their attempts to try and understand one
another produces an agreement of correlation that finds new compromises all the time.
TAKING ON CLIMATE CHALLENGES
Situating the proposed platform in Russia takes advantage of a number of local realities. Firstly, there are large amounts of cheap (formerly state-owned) farmland very close to Moscow, one of the world’s largest population centers. Russia also has a cold climate and short growing season and the 2014 ban on agricultural imports from the EU and the US is still in place. Russia is already incentivising the construction of large-scale greenhouses close to the capital.
That said, the agricultural proposal of the platform could be just as well suited in climatically-
challenging and dense places where land is scarce and agriculture is already heavily interiorized and automated – such as in the Netherlands or the United Arab Emirates, the researchers argue.