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AI with a chance of meatballs

CMS Digitalbytes

29 March 2019

Artifical intelligence is not all sci-fi androids... More mundane applications can lead to very practical solutions to daily problems like managing food waste.

In the same way that blockchain can be used in many industries and for many purposes, AI is versatile and can be applied towards finding solutions in many areas. The question is: now that we have a tool, what can we make it do for us.

Resource management and food waste management are very acute global problems and solutions are being explored from the micro level of consumers to more macro levels.

We are encouraged to be vigilant about waste. Families like mine are trying to follow tips to control food waste, throw away less, use leftovers, etc. Cattering businesses face the additional problem that they cannot use leftovers previously served to customers. It all goes in the bin. There is also the risk of wastage at the end of the day.

There are ways which are being explored to use big data to manage food orders, thereby ensuring better kitchen management. McDonald announced this week that it has acquired technology to manage data driven meal choices, in particular to ensure better management of drive through orders. This is more the marketing end of solutions.

Meanwhile Ikea has been trialling an AI system that analyses rubbish produced at its on-site restaurants. The data is then used upstream to plan production better and with promising results (a reduction in 32 pre cent. in food waste... Imagine how many meatballs were saved from the bin!)

Of course this enables Ikea to save costs, but one can imagine how a wider application could have an incredible and meaningful impact.

At a time when resource management and waste management are crucial issues faced by humanity, one can only welcome the inventiveness of engineers to help us do that and the attempts to use every tool, including tech and AI, to find solutions.

IKEA is trying to cut food waste in its kitchens with an 'intelligent' bin designed to recognise and monitor what gets thrown away.

The content above was originally posted on CMS Digitalbytes - CMS lawyers sharing comment and commentary on all things tech.

Authors

Anne Chitan
Anne Chitan
Partner
London