With the new Messenger platform catering to chat bots, one specific industry is thriving – food. Several new chat bots on Facebook focus on keeping tummies happy – from suggesting cafes, restaurants and bars to recommending what to eat for dinner. We will always need and want food, so when Facebook opened its messenger platform for chat bots, business developers capitalized on this; thus, the numerous food bots.
One of these food bots, albeit still unpopular, with only 19 likes to date, is Calories x Recipe bot. Its simple name probably contributes to the unpopularity, since some chat bots have more memorable and catchy names. Let’s disregard the plain name and check out its services.
Let’s Get to the Cooking/Eating!
In its page, Calories x Recipe bot says it can provide nutrition information and food recipes. For nutritional data, users simply type food names and it will provide you nutritional information. For instance, when a user types “1 large apple”, the bot answers “115 calories, 0g fat, 0g protein, 30g carbs”. When a user types “1 pepperoni pizza”, the bot answers “2523 calories, 106g fat, 105g protein, 286 carbs”.
It computes really fast too, for example, if you type “100 apples” the bot replies “9464 calories, 30g fat, 47g protein, 2513g carbs.”
For recipes, users should type “recipe for (food type/dish)” or “how to make a (food type/dish)” and the bot will provide recipes. If you are not very specific, for example “how to make ice cream,” the bot will provide different recipes, such as recipe for marmalade ice cream, ice cream truffles, fried ice cream, smores ice cream sandwiches, and you can just choose.
Although it seems that the bot’s performance is good, it has a lot of flaws, at least now in its early development stages.
Still in Development
The chat bot is still in its early launch stages and still has a few glitches. For instance, this chat bot is not the chatty type. If you say “hi” the bot immediately answers that it doesn’t have a recipe, assuming that what you typed was food. For recipes, it takes a while to reply, too.
Its food data, so far, seems quite limited. For example, when a user types “fillet mignon,” the bot answers “hello there”. In its page, it says you should always type the quantity of the food you want to inquire nutritional information about, but if a user types “1 fillet mignon”, it says, “Sorry I do not have a recipe or nutrient for that yet.”
For recipes, it seems that the information of the bot remains limited as well. Typing “how to make Italian wedding soup,” does not give a link to a recipe for that dish, but for other soups – miso soup, roasted butternut squash soup, Italian sausage meatball soup.
In its defense, there is a disclaimer on its page. It says it is programmed to learn from interaction from users and it will be smarter in time. It says users should think it is only a five-year-old now, but by next time, it will be a 10-year-old, if things go well.