Steve Lohr describes how Silicon Valley innovations are changing disciplines in a broad range of fields, with consequences for entrepreneurship strategies.
Lee Redden, 26, a Ph.D. student in engineering at Stanford, recently decided to shelve his education and help found a start-up company. His skills lie in a couple of red-hot niches of artificial intelligence, computer vision and machine learning. Yet he is not applying his talents to Internet search, online commerce or intelligence surveillance.
Mr. Redden's ambitions are further afield — in farm fields, actually. His company, Blue River Technology, is developing a robotic weed killer for organic farms, which shun chemical pesticides. The new venture, he said, is "a great way to bring this technology to agriculture."