A Couple Boxes that Make Food

So let’s first talk about a scandal. This is the MIT Media Lab’s Personal Food Computer (PFC) Device.

BusinessInsiders photo showing plat growth in the PFC

MIT’s Media Lab basically claimed their food computer was able to promote crop growth using minimal mirrors. However, according to a study from Business Insider, most of the actual crop outcomes for the food computer were “smoke and mirrors”, by putting already grown crops into the computer, and then snapping a photo, or putting foods grown elsewhere and putting in the plant environment manually, and then filming a time lapse of the plant growing normally inside of the quasi-PFC. Though the rhetoric from the was seemingly legitimate, this was just a byproduct of having brilliant machine learning developers and engineers as spokespeople. The PFC was heavily open sourced, providing CAD models and software, but the project and resources were eventually closed and archived once it was revealed that the machinery was not functional.

Making 🌽 for Me and Others

Though the project was fake, MIT’s food computer inspired a wave of subsequent food computer projects to surface. I am one of those projects in the work, and I’m currently working with a private lab organization, and another individual to create our own food computer. However, we’ve decided to take a new route with development, incorporating new artificial intelligence developments and sensor integrations to completely differentiate our model of the food computer. Think about the capabilities. One in ten people suffer from world hunger, and this rate is continuing to rise as the problem becomes exacerbated by issues like global warming and food production reactions.

The Problem with Food

World hunger has reached the rate where over 10.7% of people (815 million individuals) globally are suffering from chronic undernourishment. It’s an extremely huge problem that is ranging rampant in our world today, and is one of the most difficult issues to solve. There’s one core feature that defines why famine and starvation even occurs: resources. Data from the Global Hunger Index points toward a large statistical concentration on specific demographic groups. This is primarily characterized by countries that are considered 3rd World, and are deficit of environmental sources to draw from, thus leading to large volumes of starvation within constituent countries. Examples of this information include:

⦿ Afghanistan #10
⦿ Haiti #7
⦿ Madagascar #4
⦿ Central African Republic #1

Unfortunately, there is a clear regional trend surrounding world hunger. Continents like Asia and Africa are extremely undersourced in many substituent countries, and Sub-Saharan Africa is currently food insecure. However, even though we see the world hunger figure perpetually rise on a graph, we have not yet concluded a coherent reason to explain why this uptick occurs. In fact, the world currently makes enough food to feed the world the expected 2050 population of 10 billion people, or 1.5 times as many people there are now.

Nandhu Kumar on Unsplash

Impetus for World Hunger

World hunger, sometimes called food poverty, describes a clear deviation in sources of nutrition. It doesn’t describe a globalized lack, but rather a weighted propagation of agricultural harvests. World hunger hasn’t gone down for the past three years. Due to the rising rates in world hunger, industry leaders, startups, and nonprofit organizations such as b-BYTE, Kellogg’s, Bread for the World, and PepsiCo have begun creating, funding, and pursuing projects to assuage the problem. However, because there is no centralized conclusion to world hunger, we have a variety of paradigms to do so, most of which are point-based, and only solve certain aspects of an overarching issue. World hunger is typically an induced effect as a result of three primary factors:

1. Poverty
2. Global Warming
3. Centralization

Poverty as the #1 force

Poverty is the topmost reason for global warming rates rising. There are multiple reasons why poverty has mainly affected Asian and African countries; wars, racism, and opportunistic exploitation largely establish it. Due to many different disputes over time, Africa and Asia were declared to be. 3rd-world underdeveloped continents (and many countries within them), as they have lost extremely important leaders over time, which in turn heavily affected infrastructure and political status, which then influenced fertility rates, economic disparity, and mortality rates, which lower outsourcing, which finally creates the aforementioned world hunger effects. Many of these countries have extremely wealthy and poor areas, which results in the opulent side hoarding the funds to support nutritional production needs. As impoverished areas are then forced to gather resources physically, the inefficiency in harvest has stunted the overall regional growth and contributes to further hunger. Poverty has consistently been cited as the primary cause of world hunger.

Global Warming

The change in the enviroment due to extremely high energy emissions from 1st-world countries such as the US and Canada has been extremely effective in propelling world hunger. Emissions of pollutants breaking the triatomic oxygen or ozone layer cause the heightened penetration of the suns ultraviolet rays, which thus heat the environment. However, the heating of the environment has proved detrimental for countries near the equator, which causes higher food market costs, agricultural reduction, and women-children mortality. Due to less production of food, the market becomes more valuable and exclusive, once again retrogating power to the rich, and making living less sustainable for the poor. In addition, climate change causes large breaks in biodiversity and optimal crop conditions, so many countries are unable to yield farming spoils. In addition, many developing countries do not put individuals through education, which forces women and children to also participate in physical labor, which leads to a higher likelihood of disease contraction or death, as well as less fertility and population reductions. In addition, global warming can also lead to unexpected environmental catastrophes, which prevent temporized development.

Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Centralization

The concept of poverty in world hunger is informed by the fact that few resources in our current world are decentralized, controlled via multiple administrative forces that hold extreme wealth. Now, we’ve begun thinking of the inverse, even in computation, as humanity has begun to usher in the shifts into technologies such as edge computing and blockchain that promote the removal of headquarter sources and the availabilty of data to all. This ideology is now being applied to world hunger solutions, where we provide a means for universal access, and wealthier companies continue to support the initiative. From a hunger scope, centralization is also a villain, as it promotes the accumulation of money and resources in wealthy areas, and poor civilizations become poorer, weaker, and hungrier.

Creating the 🥬 in a New Way

Now, I’m leading the charge to create a new type of food computer, which I am happy to say that we’re currently in the process of constructing the food computer! We’ve completed software development, and are now working on 3D manufacturing and assembly, and are looking to outsource our solutions to different countries in Africa like Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, and more, and also different cities in India, allowing us to provided resources to those who need it the most. Though we’re not yet open sourcing our solutions or releasing too much information/photos just yet, our food computer is going to look something like this:

Pretty cool, right?

Not the 1st, but the best

So obviously, our technology is clearly not the first to market, but we have developed a new and innovative approach to our food computer. Essentially our computer features the same design, except smaller, and with our new logo. In addition, our solution not only utilizes neural networks, but also a variety of technologies that make it one of a kind, and pretty awesome! In order to put in the material, we will have surface openings inside of the computer for insertable “food pods”.

Crop synthesis algorithm

A small code sneak peek!

We refer to the optimal way to make crops as different “recipes”. This decision making algorithm allows for the input of different crops that weighs the different amount inputs. It is important to note that these algorithms actually don’t use artificial intelligence algorithms, but we’ve rather incorporated a mathematical proportion systems for plant and crop growth analysis.

AI + Computer Vision

Sneak peek to computer vision!

We are using artificial intelligence computer vision for the identification of crops to feed to our mathematical algorithm in order to regulate our many biosensors within the device. In utilizing computer vision, we create an intelligence systems that can combine with the different sensors for impressive functionality.

Biosensors & Novel Optimization

A sneak peek of new imaging methods!

As plants bioelectrochemical signals, we are able to leverage these many readings by using numerous sensory methods with magnets, light visualization, and some further developments in nano spectroscopic imaging methods. We can track plant vitals, and are able to use the analyses for further optomization and implementation of the yeilded food. With our growth methods, we are also able to catalyzes the plant.

Complete Hardware

Sneak peek into hardware!

In addition to our new methods, we also offer different light colors reversible to UV lights, sensors for atmospheric changes within the computer in changing humidity, temperature, pH, and other metrics. It will also be outfitted with cameras and refillable materials to introduce the crops to. This will all be fitted into a 12 x 18 x 18 (or something around that) form factor.

We have a unique computer that will hopefully be able to grow foods, plants, crops, and vegetables of many types, and have an openable computer ceiling for the easy manual extraction of the crops. With more developments and the completion of our prototypes, we hope to mass produce these devices, and partner with food sustainability companies.

We will likely be making style and form factor pivots as time goes on.

After the creation of the prototype, we will be filing a full US patent for the technology.

We can’t wait to see how it turns out, and how this impacts the future of food! Food is delicious, but its also a main contributor to the world’s biggest problems. 6% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gases, losing land the size of the European Union, making up 1/4th of climate change, and account for 19% of all water pollution are examples of the worst metrics that our current food production systems cause.

Things like insect farming, cellular agriculture, and sustainable protein practices or food production will be the future of food and the battle against climate change!

My name is Okezue Bell, and I’m a 14 y/o innovator/entrepreneur in the quantum computing and AI spaces. I’m also currently making developments in foodtech and cellular agriculture, as well as biocomputing! Contact me more:

✉️ Email: okezuebell@gmail.com

🔗 LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/okezue-a-...

📑 Medium: https://medium.com/@okezuebell

🌍 Portfolio: https://tks.life/profile/okezue.bell

📱 GitHub: https://github.com/BellAI-Code

💻 Personal Website: https://okezuebell.squarespace.com [password is 0]

ma ’23 + tks ’22 | bio @sickkidstoronto | ml @hansonrobotics | ml collaborator @ibm | https://okezuebell.com

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