The rise of the calorie conscious machines
When social media first started gaining popularity, we were all pretty content posting the occasional photos of shared time with friends, for said friends to then share with their friends. And, that’s how it worked for a while…
Nowadays, if you’ve done something (literally anything) with your day and you’ve failed to tell your online social following, it’s widely understood that the thing you did doesn’t count.
Hence, the unrelenting food photos that litter the internet. If it’s not cats - it’s delicious food. Fact.
The future of #foodporn
Enter Google’s next venture, which will be able to analyse how many calories are in your foodie photos. Im2Calories will be able to study the depth of pixels in a photo, and calculate the size of what it’s looking at using a specially engineered algorithm.
Kevin Murphy, a researcher at Google, told Popular Science: “It’s obvious that people really want this and this is really useful. OK fine, maybe we get the calories off by 20%. It doesn’t matter. We’re going to average over a week or a month or a year.
“Now we can start to potentially join information from multiple people and start to do population-level statistics. I have colleagues in epidemiology and public health, and they really want this stuff.”
It’s no surprise that there is an interest in this technology, given the high number of successful Instagram accounts entirely dedicated to food photography.
The news of the technology has arrived following Google’s acquisition of London-based company, DeepMind, in 2014. And, it’s also a nod toward Google’s new photo analysing technology announced at Google I/O 2015 – read more about that here.
Source: Guardian, Popular Science