These Scientists Want Photos of Your Poop to Train AI

The researchers are seeking to create the world's first poop database.

You may have heard it before but your bowel movements are a really rich source of medical information.

They reveal a lot about what is going on in your body and particularly your gut. As such, they can provide invaluable data to medical professionals.

RELATED: THE TRUTH ABOUT COFFEE AND YOUR POOP

Understanding poo

Now, a company called Seed Health wants to help researchers better understand what is going on with poop by creating a database of poop for artificial intelligence to train on. To do this, they are requesting volunteers to send in pictures of their turds along with a little bit of information about their pooping cycle. 

With the motto, "We dare you to give a shit for science," the poop seeking campaign has taken the media by storm. And Seed Health is hoping to collect 100,000 prospective images.

From there, a team of gastroenterologists will sort through each image on the Bristol scale of poop consistencies that has seven categories.

Then, a new AI platform named 'auggi,' trained to identify poops via 36,000 images of Play-Doh models, will hopefully learn to distinguish ailments that are identifiable through poop.

Helping people

Before you dismiss this as a gimmick, it should be noted that the project has the potential to really help medical professionals by speeding up the process of identifying diseases through poop. And considering the fact that roughly one in five Americans suffer from gastrointestinal conditions, there are a lot of people that could be helped.

Ara Katz, co-founder, and co-CEO of Seed Health told Gizmodo that the project allows regular folk an opportunity to assist scientists. “It’s projects like this [that] allow people who are not scientists to participate in citizen science. By crowdsourcing data, we can help researchers and technologies like auggi in order to help people identify different conditions," she said.

So if you a ready to "give a shit," you can photograph your poop and submit it at seed.com/poop

Advertisement

Stay on top of the latest engineering news

Just enter your email and we’ll take care of the rest: