Instacart Caught Using Revolting AI-Generated Images of Food

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How about some demonic chicken wings for dinner?

Instacontent

We’ve already come across countless companies attempting to use generative AI to save a buck on human labor or skirt around copyright, with often unintentionally hilarious and at times infuriating results.

But in the case of grocery delivery app Instacart, the results are mainly just nauseating.

Users on the Instacart subreddit caught the company seemingly using image generators to create pictures that accompany entries for common ingredients or recipes on the app. A simple search for “AI” on the forum results in a number of users complaining about the company resorting to AI for images.

Even many of the recipes accompanying the questionable pictures of horrific foods were AI-generated, with the company noting that they were “powered by the magic of AI” and therefore “may not be perfect.”

However, following Business Insider‘s damning report on the trend, the company appears to have deleted a number of these AI-generated recipes.

It’s only the latest example of companies making use of the tech in an apparent effort to streamline and boost content creation. But AI image generators are still inherently flawed, an inconvenience that companies like Instacart are glossing over in favor of flooding the internet with low quality images and text.

Demon Pretzels

Given Instacart’s desire to advertise delicious recipes and ingredients to customers, it’s an especially egregious example of flawed AI image generators being put to use, likely without any human oversight.

One Reddit user came across horrifying brown protrusions that were meant to represent “salted chocolate pretzels.” Another redditor encountered mysteriously floating slices of what appear to be green onions. One particularly keen user spotted almost a dozen examples, ranging from a mug made out of chocolate cake to a roasted chicken with two pairs of wings.

It’s unclear what proportion of images Instacart uses for its recipes were generated by an AI.

A spokesperson told BI that the company is “optimizing for the best user experience” and that “we are constantly iterating on our product to align with consumer expectations as generative AI technology matures.”

But given the horrifying results, the company’s dabbling clearly isn’t working out so well, so it must have plenty of “iterating” left to do.

More on image generators: ChatGPT Says It’s Reached the Limit of How Silly It Can Make the Goose

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