Doughnut compute: A cookbook by Watson, IBM’s AI machine

IBM Watson Chef ICE Cookbook
IBM/ICE
Watson, IBM’s artificial intelligence machine, has come a long way since its win on Jeopardy! IBM and Watson have teamed up with the Institute of Culinary Education to create the first-ever cookbook co-created by algorithms. Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson will officially go on sale April 14, according to CNN Money.

When looking to go beyond answering questions to making something new, Lav Varshney, an IBM scientist, came up with the idea for an innovative cooking system. “A cognitive computing system focused on food, he believed, could help chefs explore these fresh flavor combinations and co-create surprising, never-before-seen dishes,” according to the book’s introduction.

Cognitive Cooking with Chef WatsonThe machine was given a load of data on dishes, so it could learn everything from flavor interactions to food chemical compositions. The machine doesn’t work alone, and a team of technologists and chefs began to create the cookbook once Watson started to suggest various combinations.

Watson put a twist on some common recipes like tomato bruschetta and grilled asparagus. For instance, the computer recommended using Japanese eggplants to create Turkish bruschetta. Some of the recipes have ratings for descriptors such as “surprise,” “pleasantness,” and “synergy.”

More than 65 recipes are included in the cookbook, and there is a possibility that more could be on the way. IBM is also working on a Web-based app for more tech-savvy food enthusiasts. Based on Watson’s platform, it will use algorithms to suggest new dishes. Watson will take what you want and what it knows about taste and chemical compounds to create food combinations. After it has been given your information, it will narrow down its collection of recipes from thousands to 100. Then it will sort them based on your preferences, dietary restraints, and other requirements that you define.

Until the Web app is released, you may want to get your hands on the book. Whether you’re a cooking enthusiast or you don’t know how to boil water, Watson may be your savior. The cookbook will be available on Amazon in hardcover for $22, and you can preorder it now.

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