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Google Is Going to Count the Calories in Your Instagram Brunch Pics

Will it be a groundbreaking step toward mapping food trends or just another way to make you feel bad about yourself?

Google is working on an AI program that will scan the food porn pics you upload during hungover brunches and analyze it for an estimated calorie count, the Guardianreported today. Google announced the plan at last month's Rework Deep Learning Summit in Boston, calling it Im2Calories and saying that it will harness "sophisticated deep-learning algorithms" to assess the amount of calories in the photographed meal.


"To me it's obvious that people really want this and this is really useful," said Google researcher Kevin Murphy. "OK, fine, maybe we get the calories off by 20 percent. 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 still unclear if Im2Calories will be a groundbreaking step toward mapping food trends in current society or just another rarely accurate guessing machine like Microsoft's How Old Do I Look? app. Either way, like the Microsoft app, it's sure to make a bunch of people feel bad about themselves.

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Photo via Instagram user Larkwoodrose