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Finally, someone is building an AI database of poop

About damn time.

poop in a toilet
Image: Unsplash

TL;DR — go to seed.com/poop right now on your mobile device and take a picture of your poop, for science. Go ahead. Science dares you to #giveashit.

Specifically, Seed Health, a microbial sciences company that already produces a consumer-facing probiotic product, gives a shit and wants pictures of your shit in order to train an AI platform to detect health issues. Because whether you know it or not, your poop can reveal a lot about your internal health.

One out of every five people in the United States has chronic issues with their interior meat sacks, gut-focused issues like irritable bowel syndrome. With a poop database, doctors will have an additional diagnostic tool to help patients make silly poop jokes in the office that the doctor surely hasn’t heard before. The AI will learn from doctor feedback so it can see the same nuggets of stanky truth that the doctors see.

The AI platform is being built by Auggi, a startup with the goal of creating an AI that can recognize patterns in poop so humans can take control of their gut health. According to The Verge, the team at Auggi spent a lot of time messing about with Play-Doh in order to develop the Seed app.

Of course, this whole testing poop thing hasn’t gone exactly great in the past for some companies, but I’m fairly certain that one required users to physically send in their poop, which was a bad idea from the start. We prefer to just flush our dooks, rather than bag ’em and tag ’em. It seems much simpler with an app and a picture.

All these pictures of poop will be gathered with ancillary data like the time of your poop and email address

The image is separated from the metadata so that submissions are HIPAA compliant and fed into the AI poop database. Whether or not this will actually prompt people to be more attentive to their internal health is debatable. App companies often think that their magical app will suddenly cause people to change behavior, in this case, exercise more and eat right. It just doesn’t work that way.

While a poop database for the purpose of informing doctors is a solid idea, it’s not new. Part of their medical training is poop-focused and Gastroenterologists literally specialize in poop. Layering on an app, a database of poop with AI recommendations seems like overkill, even if mildly entertaining for the moment.

It’s highly doubtful users will suddenly change their lifestyle because an AI in an app is telling them that their poop is strange. But at least Josiah can take a break from taking dick picks and snap some greasy growlers instead.

What do you think? Plan on photographing your feces? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Writing about consumer technology, social media and the deep layers of psychological torture endured by all of it. The world is changing, but that doesn't mean we can't be cynical about it. It's not all sunshine and roses in Silicon Valley. It's self loathing, pretentiousness and machines that squeeze juice for you. Also, a strong affinity for toasters.Follow on Twitter @cebsilver for them jokes. Chaotic neutral. Pitches to cebsilver@gmail.com

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