You probably have the general perception that artificial intelligence is evolving by leaps and bounds. In a matter of months, the Internet has been flooded with image generators such as DALL-E or Midjourney and also text generators, such as the well-known ChatGPT. Now it is the turn of Lunchbox, a model capable of generating hyper-realistic images of food.
Lunchbox would be aimed primarily at restaurants that need to create quick images for posting on social networks, websites and the like. Like many other models on the web, Lunchbox is based on DALL-E, OpenAI’s proprietary AI. In addition, it is accessible to everyone as it can be used through its website and, on top of that, for free.
When generating an image, we can type directly what we want to see in the Search bar. If you want to see what a hamburger and fries would look like, all you have to do is type it in and click on Generate. However, Lunchbox offers more options for the user to customize their request as much as possible.
For example, you can choose the background of the image, the material and even the style it will have (polaroid, sepia, etc). In fact, the tool allows you to add people eating or simply with food next to them.
Lunchbox, is it a threat or a glimpse into the future?
Lunchbox CEO Nabeel Alamgir said in an interview with QSR that restaurants that add images to their menus receive 70% more orders. To top it off, they also manage to generate 65% more sales compared to other businesses that do not. However, getting your food professionally photographed can be time-consuming, so could a tool like Lunchbox speed up this process?
For his part, Alamgir says he wants to make it easier for restaurant owners: “what I want is to make it very easy for someone to say, ‘hey, I have a concept for sushi. My brand is predominantly pink and I want a pink background […] with this tool I can get ideas fast until they take the photos.”
Well, what do the restaurants think about it? For the moment, it seems that the response has been quite positive, since they don’t have to wait for a photographer to come. As is usually the case in these cases, the controversy is rife: are photographers a thing of the past, and to what extent is it legal to pass off AI-generated food as your own?