A pair of startups yesterday launched a campaign to convince people to send them pictures of their poop. We bet you didn’t think you’d read that on TNW today, but it’s for a decent reason. The images will purportedly be used to create a database to train AI on the subtleties of human waste.
Auggi, a startup developing a health app, and Seed Health, a company that develops and sells probiotics, have joined forces for the “give a shit for science” campaign in hopes they can obtain 100,000 poop pics from regular people around the world.
With this database the two companies – and anyone else with access – should be able to train a solid computer-vision network to predict various medical conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and other chronic gut illnesses.
You can learn a lot about a person by taking a look at their poop. The color, texture, and solidity all tell the tale of you and your current health. Unfortunately, we tend to flush this trove of health data down the literal toilet rather than probe it for medical information.
AI is perfectly suited to solve this problem. Once an AI is trained to recognize and classify different conditions that present in feces, it should then be able take new poop pics and predict the gut health of the person responsible for them.
It might not sound like exciting research – and it probably feels a bit creepy to consider photographing your feces for the betterment of robotkind – but, considering the massively important role that gut health plays in human longevity, it might be in everyone’s best interests if we all did our part.
Click here to visit the #GiveAShit website if you want in.
H/t: CNN Business