BGR- If you’ve been following HBO’s hilarious Silicon Valley sitcom, then you’ll instantly giggle when you see MIT’s new food app in action. One of the recurring characters on the show has a food app idea that’s turned into a smart food recognition system against his will. He has to develop the app, but when demo time comes, the app can only classify foods into two categories, including “hot dog” and “not hot dog.”
But MIT came up with an app that identifies food, and it actually works. Better yet, it can even tell you the recipe of that particular type of food that you’re Instagramming. Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) created an app called Pic2Recipe that correctly identified recipes 65% of the time during testing. The team trained artificial intelligence to recognize types of foods. The CSAIL researchers then built a database of over 1 million recipes that were annotated with information about the ingredients. That data was used to train a neural network to find patterns and make connections between pictures of food images and the recipe.
AI was able identify various ingredients like flour, eggs, and butter, and even suggest other similar recipes. The system might not be able to recognize all the ingredients in a picture of food right now, especially since there are so many ways to make different types of food. But things may be improved in the future, as the system behind the Pic2Recipe app gets more training.
Jian Yaaaaaaaaaaang!!! You beautiful son of a bitch! Everything is coming up Jian Yang these days. First Erlich Bachman is written off the show. Then some pseudo nerds drop the Not A Hot Dog app into the Apple and Android stores. And now some real deal, supernerd scientists have figured out how to actually bring this app that was stranger than fiction to real life.
Now obviously based on that video, it is still a work in progress. But the fact it got 8 out of 11 ingredients correct is WILD to me. I still don’t understand how Shazam works. I will occasionally try to think about it real hard, pretend like I know what the word “algorithm” truly means, then just come to the conclusion that it’s all alien technology and go about my day. But this SeeFood or Pic2Recipe shit is next level stuff. Billions of songs are probably stored online and can have their DNA broken down by that alien technology. But a picture is so much tougher to break down. Yeah it’s worth a thousand words and all that shit. But being able to breakdown the DNA of a sugar cookie by a picture TRULY makes no sense. Like my head hurts just thinking about it. Scientists may get a bad wrap because of the ones that spend their time telling us that coffee, red meat, and alcohol is good for us and then the next day tell us it’s #actuallybad for us. But shout out to scientists that make an app like this/harness alien technology in order to make the world a better place.