Suck at Cooking? Pinterest’s Computer Vision Can Help

The kitchen of the tomorrow is so tantalizing that it seems everyone in tech wants to build it. In a way, it presents a perfect microcosm of how artificial intelligence and ambient computing could change every aspect of your life. Refrigerators that tell you when your eggs go bad. Augmented-reality cooking tips right there on the counter. Recipe recommendations based on your dietary restrictions, seasonal veggies, and that tuna you really ought to use before it turns. Every ingredient in perfect proportion, with suggestions for the best ways to cook them. And, just go with me here, food that cooks itself?

Pinterest may not sell a camera-equipped fridge, but the platform is rolling out futuristic new tools for cooks of all types. Its Lens camera-search tool, which lets you point your phone at something to find information and related pins, now works with food. Snap a picture of a cucumber and jump to that tomato-cucumber-basil salad recipe a little faster. Eating out? Take a pic of your meal to generate recipes and make it at home. The computer vision isn’t perfect, but it seems good enough to recognize the waffles in front of you.