Tech In Action: Is it a hotdog?

Some impressive image recognition brings a joke from HBO's Silicon Valley into the real world.


In the latest season of startup-skewering comedy Silicon Valley, developer Jian-Yang creates an app that only tells you if food is or is not a hotdog, mostly as a way to spite Erlich Bachman, who has been trying to ride Jian-Yang’s coattails to success.

Useless as such a passive-aggressive use of image recognition might be, fans of the show will be delighted to hear that “Not Hotdog” was made into a real image recognition app and released after this Sunday’s episode aired. To promote it, Jimmy O. Yang – the actor who plays Jian-Yang – even gave an in-character interview with Bloomberg.

Unfortunately, the app is currently only available in the U.S. App Store, so we’ve haven’t been able to test its capabilities ourselves. A quick look at the “#NotHotdog” hashtag on Twitter, though, seems to suggest that it is fairly reliable, which is pretty impressive image recognition capability for an app based on a joke.

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