GrabFood AI-Generated Images Goes Wrong as Eagle-Eyed Netizens Spotted Big Mistakes


While Artificial Intelligence (AI) has definitely enhanced many aspects of our lives and made them much more convenient, here’s one thing that AI can’t do (yet):

Make food look appetising.

And netizens got a taste of that recently when GrabFood started to use AI-generated images of food in the application’s menus.

In a post uploaded to the r/Singapore Subreddit by u/Marlix6754, the user questioned if Grab had begun using AI for their menu’s photos.

Is GrabFood trialling AI generated pictures?
by u/Marlix6754 in singapore

“I was looking at some stores on GrabFood. This restaurant does not use their own images in the past[,] so my guess is this is AI. The images look very unappetising to me[,] though,” the user noted.

The user did not disclose which store’s menu the screenshots were taken from, but it was a store selling Japanese rice bowls and other sides like truffle fries and chicken karaage.

And while the menu might seem like that of a typical Japanese restaurant at first, zooming into the photos would show you some odd, odd things.

For instance, the salmon roe looked as big as egg yolks and the image of truffle fries literally included an entire truffle on top of the fries.

Hey, if you’re offering me an entire truffle with fries on the side for $10.40, I’ll take all the stock that you have.

Additionally, the user wrote in their caption that the “teriyaki chicken don looks like nasi lemak”.

Well, I guess you might say that’s what they call “fusion cuisine”.

Other users also commented that the photos looked unrealistic and gimmicky.

Grab’s Response

When speaking to The Straits Times, a spokesperson explained that Grab has begun testing out AI-generated images to see if they can aid merchants who may not be able to take photos of their food products.

If successful, the AI-generated images can help these establishments to still have photos that accompany their menus for potential customers to browse through.

According to the spokesperson, Grab users have a preference for menus with images, even if they are illustrative ones.


Regarding the piloting of the AI images, the spokesperson revealed that Grab attempted to choose photos that were “visually appetising and accurate” but admitted that improvements can still be made.

The team at Grab had also “manually checked” the images according to the cuisine, category, item name and description prior to the launch of the pilot.

This was to ensure that the images represented the food items well.

After the pilot was launched, the team has still continued to review and remove or update images that might not accurately describe the dishes.

Grab has also been obtaining user feedback regarding the pilot to carry out further improvements.


Merchants Can Choose to Opt Out of Scheme

On the other hand, the spokesperson also mentioned that merchants can choose to opt out of the AI pilot scheme if they do not want the AI-generated images to accompany their food items.

Thus far, only a “small pool of merchant-partners” have been involved in the pilot.

These merchants were told about the scheme around a week before the AI-generated images were rolled out.

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AI Art and Image Generators

With the rise in AI’s capabilities, AI art and image generators have also become increasingly popular.

Some of the more prominent AI art generators on the market include DALL·E 2 by OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, and Artbreeder.

Other popular sites like Canva can also generate images with AI through text prompts keyed in by users.


However, there have also been controversies and debates surrounding the use of such generators, particularly over issues like copyright.