Artificial intelligence apps guiding users’ clothing choices, culinary tastes

by

Kyodo

Software that helps people decide what to wear or even what to eat are among the latest examples of artificial intelligence infiltrating everyday life.

For those seeking an AI perspective on fashion, Colorful Board Inc.’s Sensy app for smartphones seeks to determine the optimum outfit based on the user’s tastes.

“It’s like a fashion coordinator who chooses clothes for me as I’m too busy to spare time for selection,” said Sachi Okuyama, a 36-year-old company employee in Tokyo.

The Sensy app, launched in November, uses an AI system the Tokyo-based information technology venture developed jointly with researchers at Keio and Chiba universities.

Users of the service download the free app and sort out whether they like the images of wear sent to their smartphones once a day. The AI system analyzes replies from the user in accordance with color, shape, price and 47 other criteria to find out that person’s taste, such as “favoring pin-striped red wear of famous brands at sharp discounts.”

Colorful Board has tied up with more than 2,000 fashion companies and online commercial sites both at home and abroad for women in their 20s and 30s. Out of a huge number of dresses introduced on the Internet, the AI system recommends clothes to each user based on accumulated data.

When users purchase recommended clothes, sellers pay commissions to Colorful Board. Okuyama recently bought a gray one-piece suit using Sensy

“The more the Sensy app is used, the better matches it can recommend because it learns every day,” said Yuki Watanabe, president of Colorful Board.

Chef Watson is an AI app developed by IBM Corp. of the U.S. to suggest recipes for meals. When a user picks keywords for ingredients, culinary methods, themes of cooking and other matters, it displays 100 original recipes.

IBM Japan Ltd. held a tasting event in December at a top-notch French restaurant in Minato Ward, Tokyo, serving sauted turnips with cabbage sauce and roast beef with horseradish recommended by Chef Watson based on the keywords “turnip,” “saute,” “French,” “beef,” “roast” and “winter.”

Chef Watson has stored some 30,000 recipes from chefs and other cooking experts and offers optimum combinations upon receiving keywords.

AI computer systems not only understand spoken languages but also make hypotheses on their own and repeat learning by absorbing human experiences and knowledge. They have already been put to wider practical use in the United States in such fields as customer support services in the insurance and financial industries as well as travel sectors.

“We would like to upgrade and expand the role of AI that can compensate (for) human weaknesses, such as processing a vast amount of information, and make creative proposals as well,” said Tsuyoshi Motoki, a director at IMB Japan.