personal food computer

MIT lab controversy: It takes more than a computer to grow crops

A remarkable article this weekend on Business Insider. The website publishes about the personal food computer developed by MIT Media Lab. In the article, employees tell that the machine isn't working at all and that their goal, to turn anyone into a farmer with a single tool, is hardly a real thing. “It’s fair to say that of the 30-ish food computers we sent out, at most two grew a plant." 

For years the company has been working on this device - a hydroponic grow box filled with “advanced sensors and LED lights” that would make it possible to replicate crop conditions from any part of the globe.

Following the news of the resignation of Joi Ito, the director of the MIT Media Lab, and publications on financial ties with late financier Jeffrey Epstein, the website now publishes an interview with a former worker of the MIT Media Lab. 

He says that the central problem with the personal food computer was that it simply didn’t work.

“It’s essentially a grow box with some sensors for collecting data,” Cerqueira, a dietitian who worked as a project manager at the Open Agriculture Initiative for two years, told Business Insider. Cerqueira left her post after becoming increasingly frustrated with working conditions at the Media Lab, she said.

Read the complete story here.


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