Descartes Labs raises $5M for AI agricultural predictions

Descartes Labs, a startup with image recognition technology that can help companies answer questions related to agriculture, is announcing today a $5 million round of funding. The startup can work with satellite images to predict what will happen next using a type of artificial intelligence called deep learning.
The method entails training systems called artificial neural networks on lots of data, like a whole bunch of satellite images containing different things, and then getting the neural networks to make an inference on the contents of new images.
Using this technology, Descartes Labs claims that it can make more accurate predictions than the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
This isn’t the first deep learning startup to take a vertical-specific approach. Enlitic focuses on health care. Meanwhile, the more general-purpose Ersatz Labs recently decided to suspend development of its cloud service and application programming interface (API) and is now focusing on consulting.