Computer created recipe app goes live

24/06/2015

IBM’s supercomputer Watson has turned its hand to cooking, with a new app that creates new recipes based on user’s selected ingredients.


The Chef Watson app offers unique recipes by combining ingredients with data about the way humans perceive food.

The app is being launched with food magazine Bon Appetit. The food served up by the cognitive computing platform has had mixed reviews.

Some of the initial dishes cooked up by Chef Watson were pretty outlandish - such as Baltic Apple pie which included a layer of pork. There are even more bizarre flavour combinations on the app - including Strawberry Curry.

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Last year, Chef Watson was shown off at conferences and other events such as the South by Southwest Festival in Texas.

To create the dishes, Watson draws on vast databases - one containing existing recipes, another providing data on flavour compounds in thousands of ingredients and a third with psychological data about how humans perceive different flavours.

At the time, IBM said the system demonstrated how computers could be creative, but added that it was also an example of how, in future, humans and machines would work together.

"We've been impressed by the creative ideas users have discovered so far - to see not only what dishes they were making, but what common food problems they were solving with the help of Watson," said Stacey C Rivera, digital director of Bon Appetit.

"From cutting out gluten to limiting the amount of waste in their kitchen, the Chef Watson app proves that if you give cooks a tool to help them be creative in the kitchen, they will be."

Dr Steve Abrams, director of IBM Watson, said: "The application of Watson in the culinary arts illustrates how smart machines can help people make discoveries.

"These technologies are being adopted not only by cooking lovers, but professionals in other industries ranging from life sciences to fashion to explore new ideas."

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