Josh Malina is a fruit blogger who also sometimes eats other foods. These posts were originally published last year to the fruit community in Charlottesville, VA. We can only hope that his journey continues here in Miami.
9 JUL, 2017
A few weeks ago, I had a bad nectarine. The problem was, I expected it to be good. It smelled good, and it was ripe to the touch. But when I bit into it … disappointment. So I started to think, “Can technology solve this problem?”
My first instinct, as a follower of the cult of data scientism, was to train an image classifier. Surely there is some signal in the fruit’s appearance that would betray its inner qualities. My estimable colleagues quickly dismissed the idea. If a human can’t tell by looking, touching and smelling, how could a naive machine learn anything by appearances alone?
No, this was a problem for mankind. For the crowd. For the hive mind.
Solving this problem is the long-term goal. Imagine a mobile app full of user reviews of your local grocery store’s produce. They would be timely (reviews of this week’s delivery of Granny Smith apples are not valid next week), and hopefully there would be a lot of them.
Anyway, that is the long-term goal. The short-term goal is to start eating fruit, writing about it and seeing if such information solves anybody’s fruit problem. So, Chirbah — the blog. The name, if you’re wondering, is a phonetic spelling of 吃吧 which is what Chinese people say when they want you to eat something. I like the way it sounds.
That’s it for now, dear reader. I hope I can help you with your fruit.