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Warning: When artificial intelligence goes wrong

In the age of technology, we see artificial intelligence (AI) revolutionizing industries ranging from healthcare to finance. Artificial intelligence algorithms are designed to provide us with recommendations. This helps us make informed decisions in all aspects of life. However, even the most advanced artificial intelligence systems are not immune to glitches and flaws.

Artificial intelligence identifies whether poisonous plants, mushrooms are safe

Recently, there have been worrying examples of AI inadvertently recommending poisonous plants and mushrooms to people, highlighting the need for vigilance and human supervision in AI-powered recommendation systems.

Artificial intelligence recommendation systems, such as those used in online marketplaces, gardening apps, and foraging guides, rely on massive data sets to generate recommendations. These systems should provide useful and accurate information based on user input and preferences. But when it comes to identifying edible plants and fungi, the stakes are high. Misidentifying a plant or mushroom can have serious consequences, ranging from minor illness to death.

Join the discussion in The Grow Network forum to learn all about the pitfalls below Artificial intelligence versus wild crafting and foraging.

When artificial intelligence goes wrong and recommends poisonous plants and mushrooms

Artificial Intelligence Challenges

One of the main challenges facing artificial intelligence in this field is the ever-changing nature of flora and fauna. Seasonal changes, regional differences, and the rapid discovery of new species make it difficult for artificial intelligence to maintain up-to-date knowledge. In some cases, AI systems mistakenly recommend poisonous plants and mushrooms due to incomplete or outdated databases.

Another problem is limited contextual understanding of AI algorithms. While artificial intelligence can process large amounts of data, it lacks the nuanced understanding that humans possess. For example, the suggestion system may correctly identify a particular mushroom as edible but fail to take into account factors such as preparation methods or potential allergies, which may affect its safety for consumption.

Artificial intelligence recommends poisonous plants and mushrooms

When artificial intelligence goes wrong

Artificial intelligence relies heavily on user-generated data and feedback to improve its recommendations. AI systems can inadvertently spread misinformation if users enter incorrect information or provide biased feedback. This phenomenon has led to situations where people are advised to eat poisonous plants or fungi due to misleading user contributions.

A notable case of AI error occurred in 2019, when an online foraging app recommended a highly toxic plant called belladonna (commonly known as deadly nightshade) as a safe berry to eat. The incident has raised concerns about the reliability of artificial intelligence-driven foraging guides, especially for novice users who may not have the knowledge to distinguish between safe and harmful plants.

Artificial intelligence identifies poisonous nightshade belladonna as safe and edible

in conclusion

Although artificial intelligence has made significant progress in various fields, it is not without its flaws. The AI ​​system’s unintentional recommendation of poisonous plants and mushrooms highlights the importance of responsible AI development and vigilance in user behavior.

A combination of updated data, human oversight, user education, feedback mechanisms, and transparency are critical to ensuring the safety and accuracy of AI recommendations. Ultimately, it’s a reminder that while artificial intelligence can be a valuable tool, there are still areas where human judgment and expertise are irreplaceable.

Did you know TGN offers mushroom and foraging education courses at our academy?

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Join Marjory Wildcraft and her guest Dr. Kai-Fu Lee for this eye-opening interview that dives deep into the topic of artificial intelligence and its growing impact on the future of food.

Here are some of our suggestions Humanity The Grow Network thinks it’s also great:


  • Bones, Eugenia. Rodale, 2011.
  • Linkoff, Gary. National Audubon Society Field Guide to Mushrooms. Alfred Knopf, 2012
  • Linkoff, Gary. Complete Mushroom Hunter. Quarry Books, 2010.
  • Stamets, Paul. Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms, 3RDTen Speed ​​Press, 2000.
  • Stamets, Paul. Mycelium works. Ten Speed ​​Press, 2009.

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