back to article Huawei's Not Hot Dog is possibly the Worst Tech Promo Ever

Never base a promotional campaign around a satire of the thing you're trying to promote. You'd think that's an easy rule to follow, but Huawei seems to have forgotten. In what may be the most excruciating promotional stunt we've ever seen from a technology company in many years, Huawei based a promo for its AI on a satire of …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    "robotics people don't provide the machine learning people with nice clean data sets"

    Yeah, how unfair that life does not provide nice clean data sets.

  2. Snorlax

    Tell me...

    ...Huawei were being ironic.

    Or did they think Silicon Valley was a documentary?

  3. jaywin

    Last year Mike Judge's HBO sitcom Silicon Valley satirised the hunger for, and the limitations of, machine learning. Jian Yang's Hot Dog identifying app (from "See Food Technologies") appeared to perform wonders – but the only thing it could identify was a hot dog.

    Isn't this just a blatant ripoff of Mitchell & Webb's Cheesoid?

    https://youtu.be/FWP52PcdpAw

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      I'd say it's age-old trope found in many comic sketches, though with an idiot savant or an animal.

    2. d3vy Silver badge

      CHEESOID HATE SELF

      CHEESOID KILL SELF WITH PERTIL

  4. Ralph the Wonder Llama

    FTFY

    We'll know how good AI is the day a tech exec puts a person themselves in front of the car.

    1. Valeyard

      Re: FTFY

      like when we know there's no such thing as mad cow disease when a politician makes his poor kids eat burgers for the camera

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: FTFY

      Tech execs may blindly believe in their technology - I'd wait for a finance/sales/marketing one, or one of the company main investors.... they are usually far better at self-preservation.

  5. Horridbloke
    Unhappy

    Yikes...

    Huawei had better hope the blooper reel from that never turns up.

    1. EarthDog

      Re: Yikes...

      Do you mean the one where it successfully IDs a hot dog, pizza, sandwich, cheese burger, blood sausage, and a bottle of chlorine bleach?

      Marketing had them cover those up so it wouldn't make the company look bad....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yikes...

        Do you mean the one where it successfully IDs a hot dog, pizza, sandwich, cheese burger, blood sausage, and a bottle of chlorine bleach tide pod?

        Marketing had them cover those up so it wouldn't make the company look bad....

        ftfy.

      2. Horridbloke

        Re: Yikes...

        How shall I put this, I was thinking more the gosh-darn-we-need-yet-another-dog sort of blooper.

  6. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Ready for the B-Ark?

    Modern phones have fantastic hardware and software with them but make shit screwdrivers or can-openers.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Ready for the B-Ark?

      It wasn't Silicon Valley but New Girl that had a scene in which a hopeless idea is pitched at a venture capitalist. "Your phone has an app for many things, but it it doesn't open your beer or light your stove... what we're pitching is a phone case that has these everyday essentials built in. Like apps but for real life. Today we proudly present RealApps"

      "You're calling it Relapse? Seriously? Go away!"

      Actually for a while I had a Victorinox Swiss Card stuck to the back of my phone case, but these days I just keep a Victorinox Manager on my keychain and a Victorinox Spartan in my pocket.

  7. DropBear Silver badge
    Trollface

    Missed opportunity at a joke at the end, letting us see "the phone"'s perspective, utterly tripping balls on a pseudo-dog-filled sky, ground and everything else, Google deep dream style... where are you, People From The Internet...? We need you to make this happen!

  8. DNTP

    "Never base a promotional campaign around satire"

    Counterpoint: Tide Pods and the Tide Pod Challenge

  9. Havin_it

    Implication

    ...that cats are fair game to run over?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Implication

      I thought that it was aiming at the dog

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Implication

        > Implication... that cats are fair game to run over?

        Under UK traffic law, yes: cats aren't listed as animals. The Road Traffic Act 1988 only gives rules around certain types of animals: dogs, goats, horses, cattle, donkeys, mules, sheep and pigs.

        You have to report it if you run over a dog, but not if you run over a cat.

  10. tp2

    Camera tricks...

    This promo isn't a real anyway, just cheap camera tricks. It's possible to use a timer to change a picture in the phone, and thus you get nice camera shots where phone supposedly does amazing decisions, when in reality they're just showing images on the phone screen via timer. We used these same tricks in high school videos already in 1993 when video equipment become available. But it's cheap trick.

    But at least huawei has accurately described the delays that happen in such regognition app. If it takes 5 seconds to detect a hotdog, it's completely useless for driving a car..

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Camera tricks...

      The clue to this was the first "spokesperson".... Marketing. When marketing shows up, expect total BS.

  11. Tikimon Silver badge
    Devil

    Creative reduction of staffing levels

    "We'll know how good AI is the day a tech exec puts a person in front of the car, and sets the car off to drive at them without a human operator to override the AI."

    That sounds about like how a tech exec would downsize a workforce. Congrats Bob, you've been transferred to the AI Car Test Program! Don't worry, it's a short term assignment. Seriously, he never specified that the AI car should stop at that point, did he?

  12. maribert

    "We'll know how good AI is the day a tech exec puts a person in front of the car, and sets the car off to drive at them without a human operator to override the AI."

    Surely you mean "the day a tech exec stands in the way of a car driven towards them by an AI with no human operator to override the AI"?

  13. ma1010 Silver badge
    Terminator

    Actually...

    We'll know how good AI is the day a tech exec puts a person stands in front of the car, and sets the car off to drive at them himself without a human operator to override the AI.

    FTFY

  14. MGJ

    Optical Recognition

    A friend of mine was working on object recognition like this 15 years ago. Unsurprisingly it had lots of military uses but he was trying to get it to read road signs and then tell the driver what signs he was going past; warnings, speed limits etc. It could recognise tanks, but only if they had a big white cross painted on them to help them stand out from the background.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Optical Recognition

      So it could recognise big white crosses then.

  15. wrwalke

    Funny.

    Funny. About 5 years ago, when I worked for Huawei in Shenzhen... For humor, I used to ask people in presentations "Would you buy a car made by Huawei?" to point out that focusing on core strengths is what made the company successful. No one ever said yes.

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