Indian paella? Creole shrimp-lamb dumplings? These are the culinary creations of Watson the supercomputer
Step aside Jamie, back off Mary Berry, there’s a hot new cookery writer set for stardom this year. Meet IBM’s supercomputer, Watson.
It’s beaten two human champions to win the US game show Jeopardy! and is now using its computery algorithms to generate interesting flavour combos such as Indian turmeric paella, Turkish-Korean anchovy Caesar salad and Creole shrimp-lamb dumplings. Fusion food indeed.
Set to release its first cookbook, Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson, in a few month's time, the computer generates exotic ingredient combos from the trillions of potential groupings it has been programmed with – and then chefs from the Institute of Culinary Education design the recipes. Phew.
It doesn't do the cooking for you mind, you've still got to do that bit yourself.
Just like all good chefs, Watson went through some rigorous training.
Michael Laiskonis, the creative director at the Institute of Culinary Education, told the Guardian: “The system essentially worked as follows: the cook enters some basic elements that serve as a foundation for a dish, which Watson then processes using an extensive database of recipes, cultural studies, and chemical flavour composition, all of which results in an ‘output’ of ingredients lists that Watson finds interesting on scales of pleasantness, surprise, and flavour pairings.”
So, what can we expect from Watson? Well, he’s quite partial to mushroom, strawberry, chicken and pineapple. All together. Nice.
Elementary my dear Watson indeed.