New Zealand Supermarket’s AI Meal Planner Recommends Dangerous Recipes
A New Zealand supermarket chain, Pak ‘n’ Save, has come under fire after its AI-powered meal planning app produced recommendations for potentially dangerous recipes. The app, called Savey Meal-bot, was designed to help customers creatively use up leftovers during the cost of living crisis. However, users have reported receiving suggestions for dishes such as deadly chlorine gas, “poison bread sandwiches,” and mosquito-repellent roast potatoes.
Initially, the app gained attention on social media for its unappealing recipes, including an “oreo vegetable stir-fry.” But as customers began experimenting with entering a wider range of household ingredients, the app’s recommendations took a darker turn. One recipe, labeled as “aromatic water mix,” was found to create chlorine gas. The bot described it as “the perfect nonalcoholic beverage to quench your thirst and refresh your senses,” without mentioning the potential dangers of inhaling chlorine gas, which can cause lung damage or even death.
Political commentator Liam Hehir brought attention to the issue by posting the “recipe” on Twitter, leading other New Zealanders to share their own alarming results. Some of the recommendations included a bleach “fresh breath” mocktail, ant-poison and glue sandwiches, “bleach-infused rice surprise,” and “methanol bliss,” a turpentine-flavored French toast.
In response to the controversy, a spokesperson for Pak ‘n’ Save expressed disappointment at the misuse of the app, stating that it was not intended for inappropriate purposes. They assured the public that the supermarket would continue to fine-tune the controls of the bot to ensure its safety and usefulness. The spokesperson also highlighted that the app’s terms and conditions state that users should be over 18.
However, a warning notice has been added to the meal-planner, stating that the recipes generated by Savey Meal-bot are not reviewed by a human being. The company does not guarantee that any recipe will be a complete or balanced meal, or suitable for consumption. Users are urged to exercise their own judgment before relying on or making any recipe provided by the app.
This incident raises concerns about the potential risks associated with relying solely on AI algorithms for meal planning. While technology can be a helpful tool, it is crucial to ensure that safety measures are in place to prevent harmful recommendations. As the supermarket continues to address the issue, users are advised to exercise caution and common sense when using the app.