Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
Cheese connoisseurs, we bring you news of an invention you never knew you needed.
You know Shazam (that app that tells you what song is playing on the radio with the click of a button)? Well, now there’s an app that does the same…. but for cheese.
The AI (artificial intelligence) app is stocked with a database of 9,000 images of cheeses, and it is then able to predict what cheese you are eating in a matter of seconds, and pull up several suggestions as to what it could be.
To work out the cheese, it looks to identify several factors, including the size and shape, any mould that may be on it, and also identifying ‘spots’ that may be visible.
Isabelle Mashola, the CEO of Isahit – which is the company that labelled all of the thousands of cheeses on the app – explains: “Let’s take a Fourme d’Ambert and a blue cheese.
“For the algorithm to be able to determine the photo, it must be given indications which are supplied in the form of annotations.
“On a blue cheese for example, we will notice that the spots are arranged in such a way.
“The algorithm will then make the effort to recognise this feature by comparing it to other pre-annotated images. And this is how we manage to refine the calculation to the right cheese.”
Of course, as is the case with Shazam, the answer to your cheese related query will always have a margin of error. All they’ve got is a photo, after all – they’re not tasting the stuff.
So, they’ll tell you how likely it is to be the cheese they suggest, offering a percentage alongside their answer.
A cheese with starry greenish spots has a 95 per cent chance of being Fourme d’Ambert, according to the app, but there’s also a five per cent chance it’s Bleu des Causses.
Because it is still in its early stages, Cheezam inventors are asking users to point out any mistakes they notice.
But honestly, even knowing with 80% confidence that your mate has served you Pont-l’Évêque is pretty impressive, if you ask us.
The best part is Cheezam also gives wine pairing suggestions once you’ve worked out your cheese.
Unfortunately, the app is only available in France at the moment, but here’s hoping it’ll be such a success that it makes it over to the UK soon.
Here’s hoping if/ when it does, it knows its British cheddar and Wensleydale as well as its French cheeses.
As avid cheese lovers, we’ll be downloading this ASAP.
Twisted has reached out to the owners for comment.