Last year, Metsähallitus and CollectiveCrunch started to explore how artificial intelligence (AI) could be utilized in the planning of forestry operations. Due to the promising results Metsähallitus decided to expand the project together with its innovation partner CollectiveCrunch.
The objective is to train the AI to automatically prepare more advanced and up-to-date forestry management plans than ever before. In the long term, it may even be possible to produce complete operational plans for forestry based on the AI technology. CollectiveCrunch’s approach to AI was piloted in Central Finland and Central Ostrobothnia in an area of 300,000 hectares in total. During the pilot phase, the AI was already used to produce timber grade estimates, automatic harvesting suggestions and schemes, and automated protocols for identification of tending needs of seeding stands.
“Over half of the harvesters working for Metsähallitus currently collect GPS-positioned logging data that is effectively used for teaching the AI in this project,” says Project Manager Tarmo Myllymäki.
The primary training data that the AI examined for producing automated suggestions for harvestings and tending operations of seeding stands were the schemes that our forest planners had previously created. In the future, the goal is to start utilizing the results of the development work outside the pilot area and to expand the use of AI into other functionalities that support forestry planning in practice.
Receiving precise forest resource data is a crucial element in improving the productivity of forestry planning and in planning, timing and managing silvicultural treatments and harvesting operations. However, the precision level of current data does not enable advanced automatization of forestry planning. Metsähallitus and CollectiveCrunch Oy, as innovation partners, are now set to explore whether an advanced AI, based on vast available data sources can produce more precise planning data and to further automate the entire planning and management process of the multiple-use forests owned by the Finnish State and managed by Metsähallitus Forestry Ltd.
“Our objective is to introduce an innovative platform into future forest management, silviculture and production. The platform enables precise, AI-based tools that increase both profitability and productivity,” says Jarkko Lipponen, Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder of CollectiveCrunch Oy.
CollectiveCrunch was selected in a public tender as the innovation partner for Metsähallitus last spring, and the contract was renewed in December 2019.
Source: Collective Crunch