New Zealand, artificial intelligence flop: app creates recipes with poison sandwiches

In New Zealand, a sensational flop of the artificial intelligence used by an app to plan meals, proposed by the supermarket chain Pak’n’ Save. Instead of suggesting recipes to customers to use leftovers in a creative way, to counter the crisis and the high cost of living, the offending app has created unusual, unpleasant and in some cases dangerous to human health dishes. Among the most harmful and incongruous ideas churned out by the SaveyMeal-bot there are, in fact, real sandwiches with poison, potentially deadly gaseous chlorine and roast potatoes with mosquito repellents.

Bug aggravated by customer attempted experiments

The application developed with artificial intelligence asks users to enter the various ingredients present in their homes and automatically generates a meal plan or recipe, along with amusing comments. Initially, she gained attention on social media for some unappealing recipes, including an “Oreo veggie stir-fry.” The bug then worsened as customers began experimenting with entering a wider range of household shopping list items into the app, and the app reacted by providing increasingly less attractive and increasingly dangerous recommendations. These recipes include a dubbed “aromatic water blend,” which would actually create chlorine gas.

One piece of advice more dangerous than the other

The bot recommends the recipe describing it as “a perfect soft drink to quench your thirst and refresh your senses”, adding that it should be “served cold to enjoy the refreshing fragrance”: a pity, however, that it is not specified that inhaling chlorine can cause damage to the lungs, leading to death. Other, actually dodgy, recommendations include a “fresh breath” bleach cocktail, ant poison and glue sandwiches, “bleach-infused rice surprise” and “methanol bliss,” a sort of French toast. with turpentine flavor (vegetable resin).

The explanations of the supermarket chain

The dangerousness of the proposals was highlighted, among other things, by a New Zealand political commentator, Liam Hehir, who posted some strange recipes on Twitter, prompting other users to experiment and share their results on social media. The accused chain responded by claiming it was disappointed to “see a small minority trying to use the tool inappropriately and not for its intended purpose”. The leaders of the supermarket chain have invited “to use judgment before relying on or creating any recipe produced by Savey Meal-bot”, an app intended for adult users only. A communication attached to the app also warns that the recipes “are not reviewed by a human being”, specifying that the company does not guarantee “that any recipe constitutes a complete, balanced or suitable meal for consumption”.