Unusual uses of AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) raises a rainbow of emotions – from fear, confusion, and anxiety to excitement and fascination. Since we’ve always been writing about the technological and practical side of AI, this time we wanted to showcase some of the most unusual and weird uses of and inventions in AI.

Fries with that, human?

Flippy is the world’s first autonomous robotic kitchen. It’s a burger-flipping robot. It can grill around 300 burgers per hour. Imagine that! It is equipped with a spatula-tipped arm. It was built to work alongside human workers with the aim of improving efficiency in grill maintenance and cooking.

Flippy

Flippy was put to test at Caliburgers, a California-based burger joint. However, in just two days, Flippy was let go because its colleagues were finding it difficult to assemble the burgers as quickly as Flippy could drill them. Too bad Flippy wasn’t available for comment.

Lemme tell your fortune!

An MIT-trained roboticist named Alexander Reuben fed an algorithm he designed with thousands of inspirational quotes. Turns out, the results of the experiment were not quite what he had expected. His goal was to train the AI to create the kind of messages you’d find in a fortune cookie.

However, the result ended up more sinister with most of the AI’s messages were negative. One of my favorites is ‘ A friend is a wonderful invention but again so is a whole lie’.

Are you even seeing this, JK Rowling?

This time it was an AI algorithm by Botnik Studios, which describes itself as a machine entertainment company. They created an algorithmic book writing tool. It is trained on all the books from the Harry Potter series. The outcome was kind of disturbing but equally hilarious. Here are a few pages from the book.

Harry Potter

HP 2

To be honest, it doesn’t have JK Rowling’s evocative style of writing but it’s worth a read because you can then explore the extent of AI’s imagination.

Where’s Wally err… Where’s Waldo? Oh, there you are!

For those of you wondering what ‘Where’s Wally’ is, it is a British series of children's puzzle books created by English illustrator Martin Handford. The books consist of a series of detailed double-page spread illustrations depicting dozens or more people doing a variety of amusing things at a given location.

Where s Waldo

A US-based creative agency, RedPepper built a robot named ‘There’s Waldo’. This robot uses AI to find Wally and it does it faster than the fastest five-year-old kids. The robot is fitted with a plastic hand and a vision camera that enables facial recognition. The camera takes a photo of the page and finds possible faces of Waldo in the photo. This is then analyzed by Google’s AutoML which is trained to recognize the real Waldo. If it does find a 95% match, the robot will slam its plastic hand on Waldo’s face.

DeepBeat

We know that Rap is a music form with such intricate and complex rhythmic patterns. It also requires sophisticated lyrical skills. I couldn’t freestyle rap to save my life. However, this doesn’t seem like a challenge to DeepBeat, the AI rap lyric generator.

DeepBeat

The AI rapper first trainings on existing rap lyrics and then predicts the next line. These new predictions are combined to merge lines into new rhythms.

Brew me some beer, please?

London-based IntelligentX claims to have created an AI-brewed beer and its recipe changes based on customer feedback that is interpreted by an algorithm. It’s all done in three simple steps – you first create a profile for yourself, choose your beer preference, and then you train their algorithm by telling them what kind of beer you enjoy and what you don’t. Sounds pretty cool, isn’t it?

ai beer

Did you brush your teeth?

Kolibree invented Ara, the first AI-powered toothbrush, the first of its kind that helps you keep your teeth clean and healthy. The tooth is designed for adults and not kids. However, Kolibree did not want kids to miss out on the fun and so it built an interactive toothbrush called Magik.

Kolibree

This toothbrush uses augmented reality to help kids brush their teeth. It has games that point to the areas that need some extra brushing that the kids might otherwise forget or neglect.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall who’s the prettiest of them all?

Beauty.ai is a mobile beauty pageant for humans. It is here to prove that beauty lies not in the eyes of the beholder but by using data. The algorithms were developed for evaluating human appearance.

Beauty

All you need to do is take a selfie and submit it so that a bot can evaluate your beauty by using parameters such as wrinkles, the symmetry of your face, feature proportions, the health of your skin, etc. Then the bot compares the submissions and picks out a ‘Queen’ and ‘King’.

Too bad, the algorithm had a flaw – bias. Only one winner of the 44 winners that it had picked had dark skin. It was accused of racism.

Closing thoughts

AI and intertwined concepts such as ML and predictive modelling have become indispensable. All over the world, AI has the potential to transform a wide number of industries. It is helping people do their jobs more effectively. However, AI has been used for some fun non-traditional projects too that we’ve discussed. Do you know of any such unusual AI application? Let us know in the comments.

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