Monday, March 8th, 2021

KFC’s New Facial Recognition Software Is Troubling For A Few Reasons

Published on January 17, 2017 by   ·   1 Comment

KFC just reached finger lickin’ levels of freaky.

The fast food chain recently debuted facial recognition technology at a restaurant in Beijing, China, thanks to a partnership with the Chinese search engine Baidu. A spokesperson for KFC told The Guardian that the artificial intelligence-enabled system provides meal recommendations based on a consumer’s age and mood.

According to a Baidu press release obtained by Tech Crunch, the machine would offer a male customer in his early 20s something like “a set meal of crispy chicken hamburger, roasted chicken wings and Coke.” On the other hand, a female customer in her 50s would be given a recommendation of “porridge and soybean milk for breakfast.”

After making the meal assessment based on your features, the AI-enabled machine can reportedly save the picture of your face to remember your order for future KFC visits.

Perhaps the most troubling thing about this kind of technology ― aside from fast food giants gathering personal data on your eating habits and the sexist and ageist suggestions ― is that eating is an incredibly personal (and human) experience.

Food is all about choice. Choosing what you want to eat, where you want to eat it, how much you want to pay for it and who you want to eat it with. Of course you can override the machine’s suggestions from this KFC assessment, but why would you want them in the first place?


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