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Indian school installs AI-based machine to assess food quality for students, what’s concerning?

This case is one of the first reported instances highlighting the arbitrary use of AI for purposes which can raise serious ethical concerns

If scanning children’s faces for attendance was not enough, students from the Tribal communities in India are now also subjected to monitoring by an AI-based machine for nutrition. A new AI machine has been installed at Todsa Ashram School of Etapalli in a tribal area of Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district to determine the quality of food on a student’s plate, as reported by Asian News International (ANI). https://twitter.com/ANI/status/1649987567063040001   How does it work? According to ANI, students have to stand with their plate of food on the weight attached to the AI machine, which will then click a picture of the student and also scan the portions of food on the plate and produce results indicating the quality of food. Speaking to ANI, Shubham Gupta, Assistant Collector of Etapalli and Project Director of the Integrated Tribal Development Project, has confirmed that the data collected by the AI-based machine is accessed by the school headmaster and himself, and they use it to determine the changes required to ensure students’ health. The machine has been installed in one of the eight Ashram schools, which provide three meals a day to the children. According to Gupta, the machine has helped them add to the quality of food and has in turn improved the BMI of the children, many of whom, he says, were malnourished. Who is providing this machine? A Delhi-based food tech company called ‘UdyogYantra’ has provided the AI-based machine to the school. According to their website, the company primarily works with artificial…

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Curious about the intersection of technology with education, caste and welfare rights. For story tips, please feel free to reach out at sarasvati@medianama.com

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