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Food, Beverage & Tobacco


Missing Cannes? Drink Like You're There With Rosé/Not Rosé – IAM Network

#artificialintelligence

Cannes Lions, the glitzy celebration of all things advertising, had been set to take place next week. But when Covid-19 hit in the spring, advertising's biggest event of the year was canceled for 2020. But that hasn't stopped ad-tech firm Cognitiv from celebrating the festival's signature tipple.A tribute to HBO hit series Silicon Valley's Not Hotdog app, Cognitiv created its own Rosé/Not Rosé app to detect whether the drink in a user's hand is indeed rosé. The app, set to be released next week, draws on machine learning to pick out the beverage's light-pink hue--or lack thereof--from a user-submitted selfie.But while the app itself offers a bit of levity, the underlying programming was far from simple, Cognitiv CEO and co-founder Jeremy Fain told Adweek. "It's one thing to train a deep-learning algorithm to identify wine. It's totally another level to develop an algorithm that can accurately discern between rosé, red wine, white wine or water."


Autonomous farm robot Burro assists human workers with grape harvest

#artificialintelligence

It requires identifying specific use cases, as well as which fruit and vegetable growers to work with. When Burro.ai built a robot that uses autonomous driving to ferry produce between workers, it chose to initially focus on table grapes. By contrast, other agricultural AI startups like Ceres Imaging focused on high-value orchard crops like almonds and specialty crops like wine vineyards. Security drone maker Sunflower Labs is being used for automatic deployments on the perimeter of outdoor marijuana-growing operations. Last month, the company began delivering its first commercially available robots to grape growers near Coachella, California.


As Meat Plants Stayed Open to Feed Americans, Exports to China Surged

NYT > Economy

After slaughterhouses in several states were closed when thousands of workers tested positive and dozens died, the industry publicly lobbied the Trump administration to intervene with state and local officials or risk major meat shortages across American grocery stores. Indeed, some retailers put limits on the amount of meat customers could buy, and the fast-food chain Wendy's, at one point, ran low on hamburger. But the meatpackers, including Smithfield, which China's largest pork producer bought in 2013, did not emphasize, at least not publicly, that keeping the plants open would also protect their long-term investments in exporting to a country that is vital to their growth. Analysts say the meat shortages have subsided, with most plants having reopened, though many are still operating at slower speeds. As some meat companies continue to test their workers, they are still discovering positive cases.


Correlating Food Safety Data

#artificialintelligence

Let's make a first attempt at a correlation matrix, first by creating our complete dataset, performing some minor preprocessing on the date column (splitting it into year and month), loading in into a dataframe and letting python take care of the rest. The complete code can be found at the end of this post. Time to make the first attempt into producing the correlation matrix. Ok, not bad for a first attempt, but there is a long way ahead it seems. Let's add some more data into the mix!


Deploying nEmesis: Preventing Foodborne Illness by Data Mining Social Media

AI Magazine

Foodborne illness afflicts 48 million people annually in the U.S. alone. Over 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die from the infection. While preventable with proper food safety practices, the traditional restaurant inspection process has limited impact given the predictability and low frequency of inspections, and the dynamic nature of the kitchen environment. Despite this reality, the inspection process has remained largely unchanged for decades. CDC has even identified food safety as one of seven "winnable battles"; however, progress to date has been limited.


Delivery robots maneuvering to devour food delivery market

ZDNet

It's free if you're a healthcare worker in certain areas in the U.S. and U.K. served by Starship Technologies, one of a handful of robotic delivery companies whose business models have been in hyper-drive these last few months. As restrictions related to COVID-19 gradually ease, developers and service providers in the autonomous delivery space are scrambling to eat as much market share as possible in the still-limited locations where they're authorized. But even robotic delivery, which seems perfectly tailored to the locked-in reality of early 2020, hasn't been spared by the pandemic, and these next few weeks will set the tone for the sector for years to come. In general, the food delivery market is walking a fine line, attempting a sensitive response to the upheaval of these last few months while also keenly aware that there's a customer grab underway and the landscape for the market will largely be remapped during the lockdown. Postmates and Uber Eats have slashed delivery prices and rolled out free delivery programs for certain affected customers, for example, which has the dual advantage of coming off as sensitive and helping the delivery leaders capture new customers.


Marty the Robot Rolls out AI in the Supermarket - AI Trends

#artificialintelligence

When six-foot-four inch Marty first rolled into Stop & Shop, the robot walked into history. Social robot experts say it is among the first instance of a robot deployed in a customer environment, namely supermarkets in the Northeast. Marty rolls around the store looking for spills with its three cameras. It does take the place of the human worker, called an associate, that did the same thing, but it means the associate can do something else. Doing the walk-around of the store is seen as a mundane task.


SodaStream deploys RPA, data warehouse, AI to streamline operations

#artificialintelligence

SodaStream, an Israeli manufacturer of fizzy drink devices, gained visibility in the U.S. and Europe as a healthy and environment friendly alternative to carbonated giants like Coca Cola. But soon after relocating from a controversial site in the occupied West Bank to a new facility in southern Israel, executives realised that the company is facing a new challenge: streamlining operations in order to stay competitive with low-cost manufacturer rivals from China while quenching a fast-growing thirst for its bubbly beverages. To rein in costs and make SodaStream's four manufacturing lines more efficient, executives decided to automate assembly lines with robots, computerise production, and connect all manufacturing processes under one control system. The multi-year project was aimed at boosting output to keep pace with 30 percent yearly sales surges, while utilising artificial intelligence, machine learning and cloud computing to get a better handle on optimising production. "We continued to grow rapidly and were packed with endless employees. The dining room was full. The production side was full. We knew that we wouldn't be able to allow ourselves to keep operating the same way… whether in terms of space, efficiency, or in terms of costs," said Kfir Suissa, chief operation officer at SodaStream, which was acquired by PepsiCo in 2018 for US$3.2 billion.


Can robots make food service safer for workers?

Robohub

Health care workers are not the only unwilling essential services frontline workers at increased risk of COVID-19. According to the Washington Post on April 12, "At least 41 grocery workers have died of the coronavirus and thousands more have tested positive in recent weeks". At the same time, grocery stores are seeing a surge in demand and are currently hiring. The food industry is also seeing increasing adoption of robots in both the back end supply chain and in the food retail and food service sectors. "Grocery workers are risking their safety, often for poverty-level wages, so the rest of us can shelter in place," said John Logan, director of labor and employment studies at San Francisco State University. "The only way the rest of us are able to stay home is because they're willing to go to work."


Teaching robots to see and feel

#artificialintelligence

More and more industrial tasks are being performed by robots, but human operators are still needed for the more complex manipulation actions, such as handling and processing food products. "If our aim is to automate some or all these tasks in the food industry, or in other areas, we have to equip the robots with new knowledge via learning. They have to learn the so-called soft skills first so that they will be able to execute operations at the same level as humans in the future," explained Ekrem Misimi, who is a SINTEF researcher developing robot learning technology as part of the iProcess project. In order to teach the robots these complex manipulation skills, a combination of visual and tactile learning is required. In other words, they must learn to see and feel simultaneously.