Mushroom, a mobile app, uses artificial intelligence and photography to identify various types of mushroom varieties. It is made to be used by foragers to recognize edible mushrooms, however, scientist are concerned about its accuracy and commented that it could be deadly. Mycologists, people who study fungi, said that close inspection is need to identify edible varieties of mushrooms. Furthermore, seasoned foragers too supported this statement.
Cab Davidson, an expert forager, on twitter said that he photographs various types of mushrooms, but it is impossible to distinguish. Furthermore, Grant Williamson, an Environmental scientist. on twitter said that this is the most deadly app he has ever seen.
Nicholas Sheriff, Mushroom app creator said that the app is still in the developing stage and struggles to correctly identify various types of mushrooms. This means that this app could falsely identify deadly mushroom as an edible one, which could be fatal for foragers.
Increasing Instances of Mushroom Poisoning Raises Concerns Regarding App
Amanita phalloides is a deadly poisonous basidiomycete fungus, also commonly known as the death cap. Amanita phalloides is becoming more common in Europe and North America, hence, skeptics are more concerned about the app. Death caps are easily mistaken for edible species due to their rose-like aroma and pleasant taste, but are capable to kill a human in just 30g. In Northern California, fourteen people were reported to have fallen ill due to mushroom poisoning and three of them required liver transplants. However, Sheriff has commented that this app should not be used as a definitive tool to decide safe things to eat.