Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) said that it is building an AI to spot pictures of food on Instagram. The firm may unveil an app named Im2Calories to help users lose weight. Im2Calories will recognize the food items in the photo and give the calorie count. Kevin Murphy, Google Inc research scientist said that the technology is in initial phase of development. The basic technology is taken from DeepMind, a firm Google Inc bought for $400 million in 2014.
Why is Google Counting Calories?
But, a Verge report said the move by Google might be “kind of dumb as calorie counting doesn’t work”. Based on The New England Journal of Medicine report in 2011, the quality of the food is a bigger factor affecting calorie count than the quantity. Even Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian said that traditional notion of eating food soberly with less calories as well as avoiding fatty foods, need not be the best tactic to lose weight. Weight Watchers CEO has also confessed that calorie-counting doesn’t work.
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Google Looks for Additional Ad Revenues
Google is exploring every angle to target mobile apps for ad revenues as well as increase the web time used by mobile users. The firm unveiled a “Now on Tap feature for Android M” at Google I/O 2015. The concept is that Google Now on Tap will enable users to get whatever data users need. This is a “Contextual awareness” initiative, wherein users can use Google, irrespective of what app is open on the phone.
On the other hand, the firm’s rivals Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) are also working to launch smarter platforms for mobile users. Analysts think that Google’s Now and Facebook’s Messenger might impact Apple’s app store. Apple might also introduce a “smarter system for triaging the data, titled Proactive” based on a report from 9to5Mac.
Through the “Messenger” app, Facebook intends to target smartphone users. Facebook is succeeding with this plan as over 35% of user time is spent on Facebook owned apps, based on a JPMorgan report. Facebook is also unveiling features inside its platform, to keep users within its app. The firm does not want to lose the users time to the rest of the web. Microsoft is also launching “Cortana personal voice assistant” to Android, iOS and Windows 10. Recently, a music recognition service, SoundHound introduced a new personal voice assistant -“Hound”, a move against Google Now, Siri and Cortana. Hound will be available in Android as well as iOS.