GrabFood Singapore has been trialling the use of artificial intelligence (AI) generated photos of food on its platform, The Straits Times reported. However, its usage have garnered a negative reaction from users, with many criticising the accuracy of the technology used and remarked that the images produced “looked very unappetising”.
The AI generated food photos were first shared on Reddit by user Marlix6754 earlier this week, who mentioned finding them while browsing through GrabFood’s offerings. Included in the post are two screenshots featuring thumbnails of Japanese dishes from an undisclosed store – all of which contain watermarks noting they’ve been “generated by Grab” and that actual products may appear differently. For the business’ sake, we sure hope the disclaimer is accurate, as the food shown is anything but.
More specifically, the images used exhibited numerous mistakes, resulting in most dishes looking rather unpresentable. Chief of which (and most amusing of all) is the Truffle Fries, which blatantly shows a whole truffle placed on top of a plate of french fries, along with what appears to be half of a hard boiled egg with ketchup for some reason. In short, all of the images used would baffle chefs and foodies alike, though they could impress surreal artists like the late Salvador Dalí.
Marlix6754 noted that the restaurant had not used their own images in the past, and naturally assumed that AI image generation is involved based on the bizarre inaccuracies. Despite including a disclaimer on each image, Grab did not specifically mention that it was using the technology for this purpose, though this was later clarified by a company spokesperson.
In a statement to The Straits Times, the representative explained that Grab is experimenting with AI generated images as convenient means for merchants who do not have the resources to take their own product photos. They added that one of the reasons for the trial is based on user feedback, where most have said that they prefer to see “a menu with photos, even if it was illustrative.” The company did not say which particular AI technology it was using, however.
“Before the pilot, we had manually checked that the AI-generated images matched the dishes in terms of cuisine, category, item name and description,” the spokesperson said. “We did our best to select more visually appetising and accurate photos, which we acknowledge could have been done better.”
Grab noted that the pilot for the AI generated image feature has been rolled out to a limited number of merchant-partners, who may also choose to opt out of the programme. “As part of the process, we are reviewing the photos on an ongoing basis, tracking user feedback, and removing or updating images that can be removed,” they added.
There’s no word on whether the company has any plans to expand the trial to other regions. On that note, we’ve not noticed such images being used in the local version of GrabFood so far, which is probably for the better.
(Source: The Straits Times)
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