Hey, I'm Dan! I invest in startups at Madrona and write the DL, a weekly newsletter about tech in the Pacific Northwest

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Cool AI project - How to get free meals in NYC

Definitely a startup idea in here! Great post on how someone built an automated system to conquer Instagram and get free meals.

Here’s the Medium article with the full rundown, and here’s my summary:

  1. Pick ~50 Instagram accounts with good content and scrape all of their photos and videos
  2. Use some NLP and some simple rules to decide what is a “good” post vs. a bad post (e.g., ad, controversial stuff, spammy stuff)
  3. Try out some ML algorithms to find the “best” posts based on data like caption content, mentions, hashtags, views, like, comments, etc.
  4. Automate the captioning process using a template that combines pre-written text with some simple text manipulation
  5. Write a script that grabs a photo, auto-generates a caption, and posts new content three times a day
  6. Grow your following by building an ML model that follows and unfollows the right accounts in order to find people that are most likely to follow back and engage with your content
  7. Get enough followers that restaurants offer you free meals!


I think this is a great demonstration of an intelligent application because it uses some ML to select and optimize stuff, but the real magic is in the workflow automation + AI that accomplishes a goal.


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