5 Unusual uses of AI


Artificial Intelligence ‘AI’ has been a hot topic over the last few years. According to Bloomberg, VC’s plowed a record $9.3 billion into AI startups last year (nearly 10% of last year’s total VC Investments).

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AI is not new. Already in 1964-1966 Artificial Intelligence was studied, and a computer program was created successfully that interacted with humans. However, a rapid increase in digital and connectivity as well as more advanced forms have brought AI into nearly every aspect of our lives.

Almost 8% of European start-ups founded last year were AI companies, compared with about 3% in 2015, MMC’s (London VC firm) research showed, with the UK taking the lead. An interesting thing to note however is that according to a survey from MMC, 40% of European startups that are classified as AI companies don’t actually use artificial intelligence in a way that is “material” to their businesses.

In this blog we are going to look at 5 of the most unusual uses of AI;

1 - AI Kitchen Assistance

Flippy is the world’s first autonomous robotic kitchen assistant that can learn from its surroundings and acquire new skills over time, whether it’s working the grill/fryer, recognising items or switching between tools.  


Flippy has 3D and thermal scanners for eyes and a cloud-connected Miso AI for a brain. Orders are integrated with POS and Flippy.

I think I should get one at home. It would be interesting to know how this competes with a human, in terms of speed, repetition, precision, adaptation and cost - and oh, not to forget, taste!

2 - AI Beauty contest 

Beauty.ai was created by a “deep learning” group called Youth Laboratories and supported by Microsoft – relying on large datasets of photos to build an algorithm that assesses beauty. After an initial problem with biased AI in their first competition, they completed a second. 

It seems like a very strange use of AI, however there was a key reason for doing this. This has enabled the team of biogerontologists and data scientists, who believe that in the near future machines will be able to get a lot of vital medical information about people's health by just processing their photos, to develop a set of algorithms that can accurately evaluate the criteria linked to perception of human beauty and health where it is most important – the human face. 

I’m sure we are all a little curious to see how we would be perceived in the eye of the beholder, when the beholder is an AI algorithm.


3 - AI Toothbrush

Brushing your teeth morning and night can be a fairly tedious and repetitive task, do you ever wonder if you have missed anywhere, is there something still stuck in your teeth? We have already seen the evolution from your typical manual toothbrush to an electric toothbrush. Now, there's an AI toothbrush by the name of ara

Ara connects through bluetooth to a mobile app ‘Kolibree’. It monitors your progress over time; duration, frequency and surface covered. Providing an overview of where you have brushed and where you haven’t.

I’m curious to know how these reports compare to your dentist’s feedback following a checkup. An interesting use of AI in your everyday life. 

4 - AI-brewed Beer

I’m intrigued to see how this would taste. IntelligentX are using AI to create the perfect beer for their customers. Customers say what they like and the AI learns to interpret their feedback and groups people together to personalise new recipes.

IntelligentX’s mission is to create the world’s greatest consumer product experience.

This moves away from one-size-fits-all, focuses on the consumers and is built around an AI core that discovers clusters and continually optimizes that cluster’s experience. 

I wonder, how will other consumer goods companies be personalising our consumer experience with AI?


5 - AI Emotions 

Affectiva’s  Emotion AI looked at 4 billion frames captured from 7.5 million faces in 87 countries to detect emotion. Affectiva’s vision is to develop Emotion AI that can detect emotion just the way humans do, from multiple channels (facial expressions, gesture, body language and tone of voice).

Their long term goal is to develop “Multimodal Emotion AI”, that combines analysis of both face and speech as complementary signals to provide richer insight into the human expression of emotion.This technology is being used in a number of ways; to improve road safety, research and advertising.

Everyone has a different way of showing their emotions, and it would be great to see the varying accuracy of these products - across gender, race, nationality and age.  

Explainable AI

Due to the increasing use of the term ‘AI’, there is some scepticism on what actually uses AI for real. At ChAI, we believe it is important to use Explainable AI to give customers more confidence in making decisions based on AI, rather than just providing a black box answer. Most importantly, we show an audit trail explaining why our input sources were chosen for each of the commodities that we make predictions for, and exactly how they are weighted.

Theoretically, AI has great potential to transform businesses for the better across industries and geographies but whether it succeeds or fails will ultimately come down to the most human of concepts – trust.  

Also available on Medium