Ethics of smart farming

Current questions and directions for responsible innovation towards the future

Simone van der Burg*, Marc Jeroen Bogaardt, Sjaak Wolfert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sensors, drones, weather satellites and robots are examples of technologies that make farming ‘smart’. In this article we present the results of our review of the literature that concerns the ethical challenges that smart farming raises. Our reading suggests that current ethical discussion about smart farming circles around three themes: (1) data ownership and access, (2) distribution of power and (3) impacts on human life and society. Discussions that fall under these themes have however not yet reached a satisfying conclusion, as there seem to be different ideas at work in the background regarding the purpose and function of digital farms in society. The pros and cons of these rivalling ideas are rarely foregrounded in the discussion. We suggest that future research should focus first on the content of these goals, especially on the content of societal and commercial goals and whether and how they can be combined in differing contexts. This will offer a lead to think about what data ought to be shared with whom, to set preconditions for trust between stakeholders and –eventually- develop appropriate guidelines and codes of conduct for future farming digitalization trajectories.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100289
JournalNJAS - Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences
Volume90-91
Early online date14 Mar 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

Fingerprint

ethics
Agriculture
Ethics
innovation
farming systems
moral philosophy
ownership
digitalization
stakeholder
distribution of power
trajectory
farm
sensor
robot
weather
robots
Ownership
Weather
stakeholders
trajectories

Keywords

  • Data ownership
  • Data sharing
  • Ethics
  • Open access
  • Power distribution
  • Smart farming
  • Societal impacts

Cite this

@article{53d78f872010447394ee2aa30a72f392,
title = "Ethics of smart farming: Current questions and directions for responsible innovation towards the future",
abstract = "Sensors, drones, weather satellites and robots are examples of technologies that make farming ‘smart’. In this article we present the results of our review of the literature that concerns the ethical challenges that smart farming raises. Our reading suggests that current ethical discussion about smart farming circles around three themes: (1) data ownership and access, (2) distribution of power and (3) impacts on human life and society. Discussions that fall under these themes have however not yet reached a satisfying conclusion, as there seem to be different ideas at work in the background regarding the purpose and function of digital farms in society. The pros and cons of these rivalling ideas are rarely foregrounded in the discussion. We suggest that future research should focus first on the content of these goals, especially on the content of societal and commercial goals and whether and how they can be combined in differing contexts. This will offer a lead to think about what data ought to be shared with whom, to set preconditions for trust between stakeholders and –eventually- develop appropriate guidelines and codes of conduct for future farming digitalization trajectories.",
keywords = "Data ownership, Data sharing, Ethics, Open access, Power distribution, Smart farming, Societal impacts",
author = "{van der Burg}, Simone and Bogaardt, {Marc Jeroen} and Sjaak Wolfert",
year = "2019",
month = "12",
doi = "10.1016/j.njas.2019.01.001",
language = "English",
volume = "90-91",
journal = "NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences",
issn = "1573-5214",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Ethics of smart farming

T2 - Current questions and directions for responsible innovation towards the future

AU - van der Burg, Simone

AU - Bogaardt, Marc Jeroen

AU - Wolfert, Sjaak

PY - 2019/12

Y1 - 2019/12

N2 - Sensors, drones, weather satellites and robots are examples of technologies that make farming ‘smart’. In this article we present the results of our review of the literature that concerns the ethical challenges that smart farming raises. Our reading suggests that current ethical discussion about smart farming circles around three themes: (1) data ownership and access, (2) distribution of power and (3) impacts on human life and society. Discussions that fall under these themes have however not yet reached a satisfying conclusion, as there seem to be different ideas at work in the background regarding the purpose and function of digital farms in society. The pros and cons of these rivalling ideas are rarely foregrounded in the discussion. We suggest that future research should focus first on the content of these goals, especially on the content of societal and commercial goals and whether and how they can be combined in differing contexts. This will offer a lead to think about what data ought to be shared with whom, to set preconditions for trust between stakeholders and –eventually- develop appropriate guidelines and codes of conduct for future farming digitalization trajectories.

AB - Sensors, drones, weather satellites and robots are examples of technologies that make farming ‘smart’. In this article we present the results of our review of the literature that concerns the ethical challenges that smart farming raises. Our reading suggests that current ethical discussion about smart farming circles around three themes: (1) data ownership and access, (2) distribution of power and (3) impacts on human life and society. Discussions that fall under these themes have however not yet reached a satisfying conclusion, as there seem to be different ideas at work in the background regarding the purpose and function of digital farms in society. The pros and cons of these rivalling ideas are rarely foregrounded in the discussion. We suggest that future research should focus first on the content of these goals, especially on the content of societal and commercial goals and whether and how they can be combined in differing contexts. This will offer a lead to think about what data ought to be shared with whom, to set preconditions for trust between stakeholders and –eventually- develop appropriate guidelines and codes of conduct for future farming digitalization trajectories.

KW - Data ownership

KW - Data sharing

KW - Ethics

KW - Open access

KW - Power distribution

KW - Smart farming

KW - Societal impacts

U2 - 10.1016/j.njas.2019.01.001

DO - 10.1016/j.njas.2019.01.001

M3 - Article

VL - 90-91

JO - NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences

JF - NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences

SN - 1573-5214

M1 - 100289

ER -