Case Study 4 – Social responsibility of digital agriculture

Joseph Guillaume1,4, Hannah Feldman2,4, Nicolas Paget3, Katherine Daniell1,2,4

1 Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University

2 School of Cybernetics, Australian National University


4 Institute for Water Futures, Australian National University

Background podcast: Episode 7: The future of water is digital, with Sam Yenamandra from Murrumbidgee Irrigation (SRA-only content)

The digitalization of agriculture is recognised as an agricultural revolution, variously referred to as agriculture 4.0, smart farming, and digital agriculture. The social and ethical implications of digitalisation have already seen substantial scholarship tackling the wide flow-on effects of adoption of technological innovation.

From the perspective of social responsibility of algorithms, digital agriculture therefore provides a rich area from which to draw examples and test cases, and to support development of theory.

While recognising the importance of (widely varying) context in transformative impacts of digital agriculture, we anchor the case in a podcast combining an account of lived experience of its implementation and academic scholarship on the subject.

The case study seeks to encourage inter-disciplinary engagement with and identification of research opportunities for supporting and regulating transformation through digital agriculture, and theoretical development of underpinning foundations for social responsibility of algorithms.