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AI Bot Is Either Terrible At Designing Cell Phone Cases Or Brilliant

[DIGEST: IFLS, The Guardian]

Sometimes artificial intelligence can get things so right. See, for instance, the use of AI to generate names like “Spockers” for rescue guinea pigs. But sometimes, things go wrong. Terribly, hilariously wrong.


An AI bot that was created to design smartphone cases has gotten a bit, well, off track. Apparently programmed to algorithmically design smartphone cases based on popular image searches (think cute kittens), it instead is designing phone cases that are a far cry from baby animal adorableness.

BotCredit: Source.

Found on Amazon under the name “My-Handy-Design,” the images are largely of the medical variety. For instance, this cell phone case of “adult diaper worn by an old man with a crutch,” which retailed for $23.69 but is, alas, currently unavailable.

BotCredit: Source.

There are also a number of cosmetic-themed cases—like an image of a woman receiving botox, or having her armpits waxed.

Credit: Source.

And because ditch-digging is the next Taylor Swift, the bot also laid out cases like “Irrigation pipe in dirt trenches for sprinkler system cell phone cover case.”

Credit: Source.

On the darker side, there are an alarming number of images of drug use. For instance, this image of the “Heroin, Spoon and Syringe cell phone cover case.”

http://cdn.iflscience.com/images/277e0cb7-c50a-5d63-9d33-f0e69f9eb000/content-1499705344-screen-shot-2017-07-10-at-8-30-17-am-png.jpg

Credit: Source.

This case has not gone over well, with one commenter writing on Amazon’s page: “Seriously? Come on!! This is ridiculous. You should be ashamed to offer this product. Trying to profit on the pain of others. And shame on Amazon for allowing this.”

It is unclear how the bot went wrong, or if it went wrong at all. The Guardian speculates the bot takes royalty-free images from any source it can find, and automatically mocks it up and puts it up on Amazon. Although the vast majority would never sell, it costs nothing to make the listing. And if someone might actually want of these, the companyy can make a small profit on it.

Most of the My-Handy-Design cellphone cases are no longer searchable or available on Amazon. At one point, though, there were over 31,000 products on Amazon.

But no worries—the “attractive young couple hugging each other cell phone cover case” is still available.

Credit: Source.

Unfortunately, “Icon of Elastic Orthopedic Compression Bandage for Wrist cell phone cover case” is out of stock.

BotCredit: Source.