Take a photo of food and this artificial intelligence system will give you the recipe

When eating out, many people photograph their food before digging in. What if those photos could help you recreate the dish at home? It sounds like the fictional failed app SeeFood from the HBO show Silicon Valley but it’s real (and more effective) thanks to researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). The researchers have developed an artificial intelligence system they’ve dubbed “Pic2Recipe” that will provide a list of ingredients and even an actual recipe just from a photo of your meal. The idea seems simple — upload a photo and in return, the system predicts the ingredients and taps into a database to suggest several recipes it determines to be similar — but the execution has been the result of some hard work. “Understanding food images is a difficult problem that even research teams at places like Google have trouble with,” said Nick Hynes, an MIT CSAIL graduate student and lead author of the paper that details the system.   “Researchers have explored this before, but have used much smaller datasets or ones that don’t generalize as well as to different types of cuisine,” he said. “Recently, Pinterest developed an algorithm for food recognition, but is simply recognizes…


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