Uber Eats is apparently AI-generating images of food from restaurants that don’t have pictures on its app — and getting them wrong.
In New York City, a pizza is often referred to as a “pie” which is unfortunate for AI image generators which have been trained on pictures of pies that look like fruit pies.
So when a New York City pizzeria lists a “half buffalo chicken and half BBQ chicken pie” on the Uber Eats app, the AI generated a picture of a meaty pastry pie that has very little do with what the pizzeria is actually selling
The issue was revealed by a Twitter/X user called Online Boy who also revealed that Uber Eats’ AI invented a brand of ranch dressing called “Lelnach.” AI image generators often garble text in pictures.
Uber Eats is using AI for pictures of food. It doesn’t know that “pie” means pizza, and it invented a brand of ranch dressing called “Lelnach” pic.twitter.com/raFZArsERN
— Listen to Online Boy on Spotify or else (threat) (@realonlineboy) November 30, 2023
— Justin Whang 🐙 (@JustinWhang) November 30, 2023
Other people posted bizarre images also found on Uber Eats which appears to show AI interpresting the listing and getting it horribly wrong.
Online Boy rang up one of the restaurants in New York City whose menu was being AI-generated and had no clue that this was happening to them and called it “insane.”
“It’s truly bizarre,” says Online Boy while on the phone to Tony’ Pizzeria in Brookyln. “I tweeted about it and 30,000 people liked it and everbody’s saying it’s a ghost kitchen or the restaurants choosing this and I said ‘No, it’s not a ghost kitchen it’s a real brick and mortar store and I cannot imagine they would choose this’.”
According to Online Boy, the owner of the pizzeria rang him back five minutes later and was “very confued” and told him he had no idea what artificial intelligence is.
“I tried to explain it and he just said ‘I don’t know about this stuff, but I didn’t approve these images’,” says Online Boy.
It could be that Uber Eats is using Lunchbox, an app launched back in January that is specifically an AI food photo generator.
Update 6/12: After publication, an Uber spokesperson told PetaPixel that “Uber Eats does not use AI to add images to the app.”