Uber Eats Might Be Using AI-Generated Food Images


Artificial intelligence creeping into every facet of life is a popular yarn here on this blog.

grilled meat and vegetable on the table
Grilled meat and vegetable on the table. Photo by Victoria Shes

And we’re not shocked that so many people are embracing it, but we are sort of surprised that some big names like Uber Eats seem to be relying on it to do things it’s not quite able to do.

Namely, generate images of food that people want to eat.

PetaPixel ran a story today covering just that and, thanks to an eagle-eyed X user, RealOnlineBoy, we get this quick glimpse into the nascent, somewhat awkward world of AI-generated commercial photography.

For example, one New York pizzeria offered a half buffalo chicken, half barbecue chicken “pie.” The AI-generated image for this, instead of showing a pizza, showed something akin to a traditional meat mince pie, complete with pastry crust. While close, the image provided actually wasn’t even in the same food genre as a pizza and it’s not hard to see how “pie” could confuse a language model not quite ready for the myriad of nuances that come along with the English language.

To be fair, this is one of the milder examples of the otherwise bizarre creations that people have unearthed since this topic arose. Of course, from the restaurant’s perspective, you don’t want a bunch of weird pictures out there misrepresenting your product. From bizarre text on food to a distinct mealworm appearance for something that was supposed to be calamari, the images are quite comical if they weren’t impacting someone’s ability to make a living (business owners and photographers included).

No word from Uber Eats on all of this although PetaPixel does speculate that perhaps the company is making use of the app Lunchbox, an AI image generator for food.

Any thoughts on AI-generated images are welcome in the comments.

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About Author

Kehl is our staff photography news writer since 2017 and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here and follow him on Insta.

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