Headlines | Molecular Stinkerator

Global | Health | GAAFTIA | 19 September 2022 | 21

AI can predict smell from molecular structure

Google has announced that it has developed AI technology that can predict something's smell from its molecular structure. The potential odours are visually displayed on a 'Splatter Map' that looks a bit like the kind of stain on your toilet seat that you want to wipe up.

According to The Daily Mail: the Google team trained a neural network using flavour and fragrance datasets of over 5,000 different molecules, which resulted in the new 'Principal Odour Map'. However, the response of the AI was not always as expected, for example:

  • When faced with Marmite, the AI response was 'Yuk'
  • When faced with Tripe, the AI crashed
  • When faced with a Twinkie, the AI was unable to detect any molecular structure
  • When faced with Lynx deodorant, the AI response was 'Bom-chikka-wah-wah!'

A Google spokesperson told FNN:

This could be a breakthrough technology as, for example, it can predict the mosquito repellency of nearly any molecule to help keep away malaria carrying vectors.

For instance in our tests we found that the molecular structure of manure is best for repelling malarial-mosquitos and so covering yourself in manure could be an easy way to prevent getting malaria.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is reported to be buying up all the world's supply of manure and is seeking permission to build a facility to store it next door to Mar-a-Lago in Florida.

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