GrabFood in Singapore has been testing the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to generate food photos on its platform. However, some users have found the selection of AI-generated photos unappealing. A Reddit user named Marlix6754 shared their experience of encountering these photos on the page of an undisclosed food store while browsing options on the platform. The AI-generated photos displayed popular Japanese dishes like salmon ikura don, teriyaki chicken don, and truffle fries. Upon closer inspection, users noticed errors such as a whole truffle placed on a plate of fries and salmon roe appearing much larger than usual.
The user expressed dissatisfaction with the unappetizing appearance of the AI-generated photos, while other internet users questioned and made jokes about their quality. One user jokingly suggested selling the whole truffle from the photo for a higher price than the truffle fries. A spokesperson from Grab explained that they are experimenting with AI-generated photos to assist merchants who may not have the means to take their own food photos. The spokesperson mentioned that users have expressed a preference for menus with photos, even if they are illustrative, rather than just plain text. Before implementing the pilot, Grab manually checked that the AI-generated images matched the dishes in terms of cuisine, category, item name, and description.
Grab acknowledged that they made an effort to choose visually appealing and accurate photos but admitted that they could have been better. The pilot program was introduced to a limited number of merchant partners, who were notified one week in advance and had the option to opt out. Grab is continuously reviewing the photos, considering user feedback, and removing or updating images as necessary.