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Scientists want pictures of your poop… no, seriously

Published Oct 29th, 2019 10:58AM EDT
poop pictures
Image: Apple

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When it comes to bodily functions, poop is often a punchline. That’s unfortunate because every deuce you drop reveals interesting things about what’s going on inside your body, specifically your gut, and it’s an area of science that still has some growing to do. Seed Health wants to help researchers better understand the stories your turds can tell. To do that, they’re going to need photos. Lots and lots of photos.

Seed wants you to send in photos of your poop along with a little bit of information about your pooping cycle, like whether you’re a morning, mid-day, or evening pooper. That information, along with the photo, will help train artificial intelligence models to better understand what our poop reveals about our health.

Poop falls into the toilet one of seven categories based on its consistency. From runny poop to rigid turds, the shape and physical properties of the poo can tell doctors if you’re lacking fiber or suffer from constipation, and even throw up red flags for serious conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.

Medical professionals will be observing all the poop photos that come plopping in, labeling tagging them with important information that the algorithm will use to form its knowledge base. Eventually, the researchers hope the AI can be used as a tool for doctors to rapidly analyze samples from real-life patients who may be suffering from a variety of gut-related ailments.

To participate in the study simply head over to the virtual poop collection portal and click the big button. Once you #GiveAShit your photo will be saved separately from any identifiable information like your email address. From there, your photo will be processed anonymously and mined for health information before being fed into the algorithm, making the poop-scanning computerized brain a little bit smarter.

Yeah, it’s weird. Taking a picture of your poop is odd and sending that picture to people who really, really want to see it is even more odd. But hey, what else do you have to do on a Tuesday?