SMU uses NVIDIA DGX-1 supercomputer for food recognition project

salted-egg-yolkd-prawnsSingapore is renowned as a food paradise. And with so many mouth-watering dishes to pick from, sometimes even locals have difficulty identifying a specific dish.

Singapore Management University (SMU) is working on a food artificial intelligence (AI) application that is calling on a supercomputer to help with recognising the local dishes to achieve smart food consumption and healthy lifestyle.

The project, developed as part of Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative, requires the analysis of a large number of food photos.

“This project involves the processing of large amounts of unstructured and visual data. Food photo recognition is not possible without the DGX-1 solution, which applies cutting-edge deep learning technologies and yields excellent recognition accuracy,” said Professor Steven Hoi, School of Information Systems, SMU.

The first phase involves identifying 100 of the most popular local dishes in Singapore. The next phase is on expanding that number to 1,000.  In addition to the recognition of food photos, the team at SMU Living Analytics Research Center (LARC) will also analyse food data in supermarkets to help with the recommendation of healthy food options.

Once developed, the food AI solution will be made available to developers through an API for them to build smart food consumption solutions.

Providing the power to analyse and identify the photos is the NVIDIA DGX-1 deep learning supercomputer, which delivers the highest levels of computing power to drive next-generation AI applications, allowing researchers to dramatically reduce the time to train larger, more sophisticated deep neural networks to meet the computing demands of AI.

SMU is the first organisation in Singapore and Southeast Asia to deploy the NVIDIA supercomputer, which has the throughput equivalent to 250 conventional servers in a single box. Built on NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPUs that use the latest Pascal GPU architecture, the DGX-1 supercomputer will enable SMU to conduct a range of AI research projects for Smart Nation.

“The NVIDIA DGX-1 will give SMU researchers the performance and deep learning capabilities needed to work on their Smart Nation projects, which will further advance Singapore’s aspirations,” said Raymond Teh, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Asia Pacific, NVIDIA.