It appears that the Jeopardy win was just a warmup — IBM has started a food truck to sell food that’s dreamed up by its famous Watson supercomputer.
In a process the company has termed “cognitive cooking,” IBM has rendered food into mathematical terms so that Watson can interact with it. The system will use “algorithms to determine the precise chemical structure of food and why people like it, enabling it to suggest new combinations of ingredients that are both scientifically flavorful and surprising.”
IBM research scientist Lav Varshney said that humans have trouble managing large data sets, such as the ingredients in a recipe. He says most professional chefs “can reason a pair of ingredients. Some of the best chefs can reason three ingredients. Pretty much no human can reason four ingredients.”
And with the total number of possible combinations of raw ingredients approaching 1 quintillion, according to Mahmoud Naghshineh, IBM’s VP of services research, it’s easy to see that computers might play a natural role in creating the foods of the future.
IBM is sending the Watson food truck down to SXSW to keep hungry festival-goers sated, so if you’re going, you’ll actually be able to eat some of it.