GrabFood’s AI-generated photos spark bewildered reactions from users, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

GrabFood’s AI-generated photos spark bewildered reactions from users

GrabFood has been trialling the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to generate photos of food on its platform, but several users have found the selection hard to digest.

In a post on Reddit on Saturday, user Marlix6754 mentioned coming across the photos on the page of an undisclosed food store while looking through options on the platform.

These photos featured popular Japanese dishes such as salmon ikura don, teriyaki chicken don, and truffle fries.

However, a closer look shows mistakes such as a whole truffle on top of a plate of fries, and salmon roe the size of egg yolks.

The user commented that the images “looked very unappetising”, while other netizens questioned and joked about the quality of the AI-generated photos.

User prime5119 commented: “Order truffle fries for $10.40, sell the whole truffle for $100. Profit!”

User variably_random said: “Not only AI, but 2016-era AI”

Another user said: “Looks a bit sterile and weird, like plastic food type of feel.”

A Grab spokesman told The Straits Times that the company is experimenting with AI-generated photos to assess their suitability for merchants that do not have the resources to take their own food photos.

He added that users have said they would prefer to see a menu with photos, even if it was illustrative, instead of just reading text.

“Before the pilot, we had manually checked that the AI-generated images matched the dishes in terms of cuisine, category, item name and description.

“We did our best to select more visually appetising and accurate photos, which we acknowledge could have been done better.”

Grab said the pilot has been rolled out only for a “small pool of merchant-partners”, who were informed about it a week before it began. The merchants also have the option to opt out.

“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,” added the spokesman.