IBM Watson’s supercomputer chef is a marvel of artificial intelligence but it isn’t always perfect when it comes to actual use.
The free Chef Watson app takes the user’s requested meal, style and ingredients, and concocts a recipe based on its knowledge of flavours that pair well. Sounds great!
But when I tried Chef Watson, I had a difficult time looking for a recipe that had easy-to-find ingredients and wasn’t too difficult to whip up in an hour.
At first glance, I was overwhelmed by the categories and ran into a stumbling block almost immediately when I couldn’t find a difficulty setting.
But according to a tip from a friendly commenter on Tech Insider, who is quite possibly Florian Pinel, senior software engineer at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, a new feature just added this week might make Chef Watson a lot easier to use, especially for folks like me who are precious about their time.
Log in to Chef Watson as usual and search for easy in the search field.
And voila! A variety of easy and quick recipes pop up.
To get a different combination of ingredients and new dishes, click “more” or search for different ingredients.
With the first try, I found a lovely recipe that would make for a delicious lunch — Easy Dried Mushroom Couscous Dish.
The dish has just two steps, and it’s something I’ll likely be trying.
Chef Watson cooks up these recipes after a unique kind of culinary education called machine learning.According to the Washington Post, the app “ingests a huge amount of unstructured data — recipes, books, academic studies, tweets — and analyses it for patterns the human eye wouldn’t detect.”
It then takes the user’s requested ingredients or style and throws together a recipe based on its memory and accumulated knowledge of flavours that work together.
Chef Watson invented this couscous dish after analysing over 10,000 Bon Appetit recipes. It then looked for statistical correlations among ingredients that tended to appear together. Chef Watson even wrote a cookbook with 65 original recipes after analysing more than 30,000 recipes.
If the recipes in the books are too complicated, give up the webapp a shot. It won’t take you long.
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