AI can now describe how something will smell by analyzing its chemical structure

Originally published at: AI can now describe how something will smell by analyzing its chemical structure | Boing Boing


“AI can now incorrectly “describe” how something will smell by appearing to analyze its chemical structure.”
There. I fixed it for you.


neurobiologist Alexander Wiltschko and his team at Osmo designed a type of artificial intelligence (AI) system called a neural network that can assign one or more of 55 descriptive words

Old grumpy skeptical biochemist pontificates: a neural network can be trained (its hidden coefficients established) to “assign” anything quantifiable; without regard to any valid extrapolation. And while there is an impressively exotic jungle of QSAR determined numbers which one can associate with chemical structure, the resulting mapping of chemical structure to human olfactory impression will only correlate to those structures very similar (~identical) to smell categories already within the training set (“Oh looky! It declares that 3-methyl-limonene smells lemony!”) Now, can this neural network make license money for the company “Osmo”? …wouldn’t surprise me.

…often think we’re living through an era where we’re far too credulous that our cunning black boxes are always producing sensible outputs (zB: web-based opinion polls) [old man yells at eClouds]


I, for one, welcome our smelly new overlords.

(Do I need /s? Nah.)

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Hold on. I ain’t no odor scientist, but if AI can already tell what something will smell like (like IT has an experience!), can it already tell who will have “dealt it”?

Thanks, I’ll take my answer off the air.

Precise ≠ accurate

I’ll delete the rest of my comment and leave it at that

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