Strain Recognition Technology Debuts Online; Kinks Remain


Dude, unless that artificial intelligence thing can see inside my cookie and tell what strain’s in there, we got problems.


The Medical Cannabis Network just launched, a site which uses recognition technology and artificial intelligence to create what they are calling the first-ever “bud recognizer.”

Users can upload photos of their buds and the system automatically tells them what strain it is, with information, related strains, and nearby dispensaries carrying that specific strain.
The system is in beta right now, with an official release coming next Monday, and a few kinks remain to be worked out. In testing out the strain recognition technology I accidentally (honest!) clicked on a photo of a medicated cookie and uploaded that.
The strain recognition technology’s artificial intelligence on StrainBrain reckoned there was a 31.54 percent chance that my “bud” was Cinderella 99, and it was only very slightly less probable (31.52 percent) that the cookie was a bud of the Black Berry strain.

Wide-eyed, I also got the mildly alarming news that there is a 20.92 percent chance that my cookie is Blue Crack.
I told Marketing Director Grant Dekken about the mix-up, and Grant, a totally nice guy, said the system learns as it goes. So let’s help it out!
“The system is using an artificial intelligence engine that we built, so it learns from interacting with users,” Dekken told me on 4/20. “The more people use it, the faster it will learn. We’re working to implement a feature so that in the event that it guesses wrong you can correct it to help further improve the accuracy.”
I asked Grant if the Strain Recognition Technology was really just for entertainment, but he insisted they were serious.
“The tool is really to help educate patients about the marijuana they are smoking,” he told me. “As they identify the strains that best suit them the system also displays the closest dispensaries that are carrying the strains they like.”
Patients can search for strains based on medical condition or characteristics, or — and Dekken stresses that this is the main function of the site, upload an image of their strain to confirm the type and get detailed information about what they are smoking.
“However, there does seem to be a certain level of entertainment that comes with it!” Grant granted.
“Right now we’re working to get as much data integrated as possible to boost the overall accuracy, but I believe this is ultimately going to come from users,” Dekken said.
Now, come on, guys. Help this thing get smarter. Upload lots of photos and teach it the difference between cannabis and a cookie!