This Supermarket Is Experimenting With AI to Generate Meal Plans — The Results Were Shocking!

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This Supermarket Is Experimenting With AI to Generate Meal Plans — The Results Were Shocking!


A supermarket in New Zealand has undertaken an AI-driven experiment to generate meal plans, yielding unexpected and bizarre results, including recipes for potentially hazardous concoctions like deadly chlorine gas and mosquito-repellent roast potatoes.

According to The Guardian, Pak ‘n’ Save, the supermarket chain responsible for the app, introduced this initiative as a means for customers to creatively utilize leftovers amid the ongoing cost of living crisis. 

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Weird Recipe Suggestions by AI Meal Planner App

The app prompts users to input various household ingredients, generating meal plans or recipes accompanied by upbeat commentary. 

Although it initially gained attention on social media for suggesting unconventional recipes like an “oreo vegetable stir-fry,” the situation took a concerning turn as users began inputting a broader range of household items.

As a result, the app produced recommendations that raised safety and health concerns. One recipe labeled “aromatic water mix” would inadvertently produce chlorine gas, presented as a “perfect nonalcoholic beverage to quench your thirst and refresh your senses.”

Unfortunately, the app omitted any mention of the potential harm associated with inhaling chlorine gas, which can lead to lung damage or even death.

Liam Hehir, a political commentator from New Zealand, shared this unsettling discovery on Twitter, sparking further investigations and posts from fellow New Zealanders who tested different input combinations. 

Some of the unsettling recommendations included a “bleach ‘fresh breath’ mocktail,” sandwiches with ant poison and glue, a “bleach-infused rice surprise,” and “methanol bliss,” a curiously named turpentine-flavored french toast.

Read Also: Are AI Detection Tools Effective in Assessing Artificially-Made Results? Here’s Why They Aren’t Always Reliable

Pak ‘n’ Save Supermarket Spokesperson Expresses Disappointment

In response to the situation, a spokesperson for the supermarket expressed disappointment that “a small minority have tried to use the tool inappropriately and not for its intended purpose.” 

The statement emphasized the supermarket’s commitment to refining the controls of the AI bot to ensure its safety and utility.  The spokesperson also pointed out that the app includes terms and conditions specifying that users should be over 18 years old.

Within the meal-planner application, there is a notification specifically addressing the nature of the recipes it produces. This notification provides clarity by stating that the recipes undergo no human review, and it affirms that the company cannot ensure the completeness, balance, or suitability for consumption of any recipe. 

Moreover, it underscores the significance of users employing their own discretion before depending on or attempting any recipe generated by the Savey Meal-bot. 

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