School of Geography

Understanding Agriculture 4.0: Learning With Postdigital Hybrid Assemblages

Wednesday 3rd November 2021 (13:00-14:00)
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With Catherine Price, University of Nottingham.

All seminars online. Please contact for the link. Subject to change.

Part of the Environment and Society Seminar Series.


Agriculture is undergoing a new technology revolution. Many of the new technologies being introduced are viewed as being needed for sustainable and resilient food systems. These technologies include robotics, sensors, Big Data, augmented reality, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, ubiquitous connectivity, gene editing, cultured meat or cellular agriculture nanotechnology, synthetic food production, 3D food printing, and microalgae bioreactors. The implementation of these technologies is leading to the fourth agricultural revolution or Agriculture 4.0.

Postdigital hybrid assemblages enable the coming together of humans, the more-than-human world and the digital. This paper seeks to answer the question, how can we understand new agricultural technologies from a postdigital hybrid assemblage perspective? In answering this question, the paper argues how postdigital technologies look sets to disrupt modern farming practices. The vast array of technologies available in the agricultural sector enables information to be collected about livestock, plants, soil, water, and climate. The more-than-human world is being subjected to many new technologies, especially through agriculture. Understanding how postdigital agricultural technologies are operating requires thought that can explore the boundaries and intersections between digital technologies, humans, and the more-than-human world. There is a need to understand how power is operating in these assemblages and who has control. There is also a need to understand the possibilities of solving problems with technologies and also the unintended consequences. It is imperative that both the benefits and challenges of postdigital agricultural technologies, and the impacts these have on humans and the more-than-human world are understood. The paper concludes suggesting that the postdigital hybrid assemblage helps us understand agricultural technologies.

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