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Kakao Talk adopts AI solution capable of providing nutritional information based on food pictures

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : May 1, 2023, 19:57 Updated : May 11, 2023, 15:34

[Courtesy of Upstage]

SEOUL -- South Korea's favorite smartphone messenger app Kakao Talk has adopted an artificial intelligence-based solution capable of providing nutritional information based on pictures of food. The solution called "FoodLens" also suggests various types of recipes depending on dietary goals and eating habits.

To add the dietary management function to Kakao Talk, domestic AI startup Upstage has worked with Doing Lab, an AI healthcare startup that developed FoodLens. If a user posts a picture of a sandwich on Kakao Talk's chatbot service "AskUp," FoodLens will tell them its total calories and nutrient composition.

Users can receive recipe-related advice such as sauces that go well with the dish. The AI chatbot service can also engage in conversations about the food's origin and recipe. "I am delighted to provide a higher level of convenience to consumers’ daily lives. By innovating AI technology and cooperating with many different industries, we will create new values," Upstage CEO Kim Sung-hoon said in a statement on May 1. 

AskUp, released on March 5, had more than 600,000 users as of April 11. The smart solution can analyze different information through optical character recognition (OCR), a process that converts images of printed, hand-written or typed text into machine-encoded text using AI-based computer vision technology. The technology enables users to extract useful information from images. 

AI dietary management solution is steadily gaining momentum in South Korea. In March 2023, Seoul-based food company Our Home, developed an AI dietary management solution that can help old people to improve cognitive function. Commercialization of the dietary solution can significantly help patients suffering from memory loss. 

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