zondag 13 juli 2014

IBM's FlavorBot


Twitter amigo Theun shared this article on Chef Watson IBM program for an AI constructing recipes.
The invite-only portal lets users enter ingredients, the type of food they want to prepare (a sandwich? a stir-fry?), and a “style” to prepare food in such as Indian or Austrian, and then automatically generates 100 recipes based on those parameters. One of the big advantages for Watson’s data scientists is that Bon Appetit presented them with a recipe database that was preformatted and quality tested, making IBM’s job easier.
 Of course they want it easy!

Another article gives us the above image of a recipe for a computer generated Indian Turmeric Paella. 

<Insert cynic quip>

Both articles suggest that big data firms are ready to quantify taste and flavor on a scale of "hedonic psychophysics" or "the psychology of what people find pleasant and unpleasant" in order to manipulate and sell it. 
To generate these food leads, if you will, AI cross references three databases of information:
  1. A recipe index containing tens of thousands of existing dishes that allows the system to infer basics like “what makes a quiche a quiche”
  2. Hedonic psychophysics, which is essentially a quantification of whether people like certain flavor compounds at the molecular level
  3. Chemoinformatics, which sort of marries these two other databases, as it connects molecular flavor compounds to actual foods they’re in
<Insert another cynic quip>

I might be sitting on a gold mine!

Another article gives 4+1 recipes generated by chef Watson. The compare-yr-recipe of these is like below. A nice, well demarcated, image showing each recipe as having its own well-defined ingredient-spectrum. So who is choosing what recipe to cook of the hundreds generated? As Gary Kasparov said about Deep Blue when he lost: It was the hand of God.


What IBM is shirking from using is the term food pairing, in the IBM Watson Cognitive Cooking Fact Sheet they prefer the idiotic term Cognitive Cooking. 
At the heart of this cognitive cooking system are a set of algorithms that draw upon a number of datasets, regional and cultural knowledge as well as statistical, molecular and foodpairing theories to come up with dishes that are high in surprise, pleasantness and pair well. The system begins by capturing and analyzing tens of thousands of existing recipes to understand ingredient pairings and dish composition, and which it rearranges and redesigns into new recipes. It then cross references these with dataon the flavor compounds found in ingredients, and the psychology of people’s likes and dislikes (hedonic perception theory) to model how the human palate might respond to different combinations of flavors.
This line from the same factsheet is of course complete bullshit:
IBM’s cognitive cooking system can reason about flavor the same way a human uses his palate.

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