Having trouble keeping up with the number of calories you’re consuming? Don’t worry, soon Google can calculate and monitor that for you.
The calorie tracker, called Im2Calories, joins the recent long line of Google programs and creations that are gearing up to make our lives a lot easier (and also a touch scarier). Last week, there was this hologram thing with finger-control technology; in April, Google created an anti-TV spoiler technology, and we only realized not too long ago that Google Maps is tracing every single move we make.
Unveiled at the Rework Deep Learning Summit in Boston, Im2Calories aims to count the calories of every item on a person’s plate simply by examining a photo. Finally, that insane glut of Instagram food porn will reach beyond narcissism into actual tangible territory.
Kevin P. Murphy, a Google researcher who specializes in artificial intelligence, algorithms and theory, said the new AI uses “the depth of each pixel in an image” and “sophisticated deep-learning algorithms” to identify food, judge its size and come up with a calorie count. Murphy also said the food photo being examined doesn’t even need to be high-definition for it to work.
But — gasp — the technology isn’t perfect. Murphy admitted during his presentation that the AI may not get the calories correct in the first few attempts, but it will improve as more people use it and share the results. See what they’re doing there? Clever, clever.
Google spokesman Jason Freidenfelds told CNET that Im2Calories and the algorithms are still at the research stage and that there are “no actual product plans at this stage. We don’t have more to say at this point on whether or how this might make its way into some future product(s), because we’d really just be speculating.”
In other words: We’ll have to wait a year or so before Google does literally everything for us.