Japanese Restaurants Use AI Cameras to Fight ‘Sushi Terrorism’

A chain of Japanese restaurants will start using artificially intelligent (AI) cameras to combat the recent wave of “sushi terrorism” gripping the country.

Major conveyer belt sushi chain Kura Sushi is rushing to deploy AI cameras to prevent food tampering and catch perpetrators after viral “sushi terrorism” prank videos prompted widespread concern about food safety in Japan.

The “sushi terrorism” social media trend involves individuals filming themselves tampering with dishes at revolving conveyor belt sushi restaurants known as Kaitenzushi in Japan.

In one video, which has been viewed over 42 million times on Twitter, an individual can be seen licking the top of a communal soy sauce bottle and then returning it to his table.

He also licks a tea cup and places it back on the restaurant shelf. The same individual then licks his finger and touches two pieces of sushi on a moving conveyer belt.

Other “sushi terrorism” clips show people at other Japanese restaurant chains licking the spoon from a container of green tea powder that is used by multiple diners and licking a jar of communal toothpicks.

According to The Guardian, the unhygienic incidents have hurt the reputation of conveyer belt restaurants and sent shares plummeting in leading Kaitenzushi chains in Japan.

AI Cameras To Catch Sushi Terrorism

Earlier this month, major Japanese restaurant chain, Kura Sushi announced that it is planning to install AI cameras above conveyer belts to monitor customers and catch sushi terrorism perpetrators.

CNN reports that since 2019, the chain has outfitted its conveyor belts with cameras that use artificial intelligence to gather data on which kinds of sushi customers pick and how many plates each table consumes to calculate their bills.

Kura Sushi will now use AI cameras to detect suspicious behaviour and alert employees, such as the opening and closing of sushi plate covers.

“This time, we want to deploy our AI-operated cameras to monitor if customers put the sushi they picked up with their hands back on the plates,” a spokesperson for Kura Sushi tells CNN.

“We are confident we will be able to upgrade the systems we already have in place to deal with these kind of behaviors.”

Kura Sushi is planning to install the AI cameras nationwide in Japan by early March.