Dr Stephanie Camarena is already putting the knowledge gained in her PhD research into practice as part of global projects to improve sustainability for food security in the future.
Her PhD, titled ‘Artificial intelligence in food system redesign- Designing for the benefit of the whole’ was completed through RMIT and she’ll graduate in a formal ceremony in December.
Dr Camarena said Artificial intelligence (AI) is a key to designing more efficient food systems but that it should be evaluated within sustainability and ethical frameworks.
“Co-design, systems thinking, strong design for sustainability practices, and structures to co-create knowledge in teams are critical to the delivery of sustainability outcomes but also for the development of responsible and ethical AI,” she said.
Dr Camarena’s research included case studies of different food systems including food rescue, child nutrition in schools, digital agri-food research and farmers’ markets, to explore how AI is applied, the consequences of using it, how designers of transitions work with AI, and what sustainable outcomes were achieved.
“The research is directly relevant to different aspects of the food chain and applicable across other systems outside of food,” she said.
Since completing her PhD, Dr Camarena now runs her own consulting business, dedicated to transitioning to sustainable systems using AI, design and coaching.
She’s one of the experts participating in the ‘IEEE Planet Positive 2030’, a project supported by the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA) that brings together a global, open community of experts to chart a path for all people to achieve a flourishing future.
“I’m also working on an EU project on AI optimisation and ethics for industry, facilitating workshops in San Francisco and in La Hague on how to engage with AI for the purpose of sustainability transitions and providing guidelines on an open-source project on AI and nutrition,” she said.
Reflecting on her PhD journey, Dr Camarena said she enjoyed the position of learning and creating.
“I love the subject matter so spending a few years focused on both the theory and most importantly directly relevant project work has been a privilege,” she said.