ML Trends

Newsletter #4 - Apr 7, 2019

Leftovers and Takeovers...

We meet again.

In our previous edition, we talked about agriculture. Today, we go up the value chain and focus on the food and beverages (F&B) industry. Order yourself a meal and while you wait, read on...

I'm loving AI

McDonald’s plans to renovate close to 2000 of its locations in a bid to boost sales by increasing convenience for its customers. How? McDonald's will personalize its drive-thru menus. In order to achieve this feat, the company plans to acquire Dynamic Yield, a company which specializes in personalization technology.

McDonald’s will use the expertise of Dynamic Yield to change menus at locations based on traffic, climate and a few other factors. Dynamic Yield will operate as an independent company, soliciting other clients as well.

The decision comes on the heels of successful testing done in 2018 at an undisclosed number of locations. Steve Easterbrook, the CEO of McDonald’s, told Wired that the acquisition will let the company have real-time information to connect the kitchen to customer tastes. The “predictive analytics” he said could help cut down waste.

Check your waste lines
UK based startup Winnow is using computer vision and machine learning to solve the perennial issue of kitchens’ avoidable waste. Their product, Winnow Vision, can send you a weekly report detailing everything you threw out, the cost and ecological footprint.

Using a camera, scales, and artificial intelligence, the smart bin learns to recognize different food items. Users can refine the system further by training it on specific menu items. For now, it can predict the correct food item with 80% accuracy. A kitchen staff person has only to verify that the identification is correct, which over time helps improve the system’s capabilities. Businesses and chefs can then use the food, financial, and environmental cost information to adjust their food purchasing decisions accordingly.

Winnow estimates that the food wasted in the hospitality industry amounts to about $100 billion annually. And, Winnow Vision is the first step for a broader solution towards waste management, not just in the hospitality industry, but in households and public places as well.

Winnow Vision launched a couple of weeks ago and whether it's been successful or not still remains to be seen. Hopefully, AI should help us take a positive step towards waste management.
ART-ificial Intelligence?
Here is some food for thought.
If creators use AI to create works of art, who should be given credit for the work? Is it the developer of the software or platform that you used to create the work? Is it the software itself? Should the software user be given sole credit? Or should it be shared in some other way?

DeepDream, a software born out of a neural network created by Google in 2015 can be used by artists to create abstract works of art. It was shared online and was immediately picked up by artists world over. Such kind of work is now termed as neural network art.

But with this emergence of a new form of art, the ownership of art has come into question.

Last October, a French art collective Obvious created a work “Edmond de Belamy, from La Famille de Belamy”. This was marketed by Christie as ‘the first portrait generated by an algorithm to be auctioned’. The work was auctioned upwards of $400K. Robbie Barrat, a renowned artist using Generative Adversarial Networks, or GANs to create art claimed that the code he had written and shared online was used in the production of “Edmond de Belamy, from La Famille de Belamy.” 

Obvious claims that they used a modified version of Barrat’s code. They have acknowledged Barrat to have been an ‘influence’ in their work.

What are your thoughts on the ownership of AI created Art?

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Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

The ML Trends team
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