Science & Tech

AI supermarket app suggest meal that would create chlorine gas

AI supermarket app suggest meal that would create chlorine gas
A member of staff restocks packs of chilled chicken cuts in refrigerated meat display at a Sainsbury's supermarket store in Walthamstow

An AI meal app suggested a "meal" that would create chlorine gas.

The New Zealand app, created by supermarket chain Pak ‘n’ Save, was advertised as a way for customers to creatively use leftovers during the cost of living crisis. Users enter the ingredients they have in their homes and the app generates recipes.

But New Zealand political commentator Liam Hehir noticed it made “aromatic water mix” when he put in ingredients that would create chlorine gas. The bot recommended the recipe as “the perfect nonalcoholic beverage to quench your thirst and refresh your senses”.

“Serve chilled and enjoy the refreshing fragrance,” it said, despite the fact that inhaling chlorine gas can cause lung damage or death.

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This was not the only dodgy recipe the app came up with.

Posting on social media, others weighed in with grim recipes they had found, including "bleach-infused rice surprise" and "mysterious meat stew" made with human flesh.

A spokesperson for the supermarket said they were disappointed to see “a small minority have tried to use the tool inappropriately and not for its intended purpose”. In a statement, they said that the supermarket would “keep fine tuning our controls” of the bot to ensure it was safe and useful, and noted that the bot has terms and conditions stating that users should be over 18.

In a warning notice appended to the meal-planner, it warns that the recipes “are not reviewed by a human being” and that the company does not guarantee “that any recipe will be a complete or balanced meal, or suitable for consumption”.

“You must use your own judgement before relying on or making any recipe produced by Savey Meal-bot,” it said.

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