If you have an Alexa or a Google Home, you’ve probably got the experience of ordering from your favourite restaurant using the voice command. But picture this. You don’t want to eat out, nor do you want to rack your brains thinking of a quick recipe to put to the stove. What if a robot-chef assisted you with possibilities after assessing the left-over ingredients in your kitchen? That’s where IBM’s Chef Watson comes into play. It uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help you with recipes that you can make with the ingredients you input. It’s an application that teamed with Bon Appetite, a recipe app, and can read up the chemical compositions of hundreds of ingredients and analyse 10,000 recipes from the app. You’ll only need to tell it the primary ingredients available. Chef Watson will bring the recipe on the screen that can be cooked with ease and convenience. Neat, isn’t it?
The food industry is undergoing a rapid transformation. Thanks to AI and machine learning algorithms, the industry will reach $100 billion globally over the next five years, as per a McKinsey report. Technology enterprises are leveraging the opportunity to redefine how food is being cooked and diet being planned.
People with health complications ranging from obesity to diabetes rely on dieticians to decide what they can and cannot eat. These diets are decided based on one’s physiological reports and often times they all end up reading the same. With close to 40 trillion bacteria residing in your gut, how can one size fit all? AI will be a major gamechanger. Here, machine learning and data analytics will help in creating meal plans exclusively for you.
AI will test your metabolism by diving deep into the human physiology. This will help in determining the rate of metabolism but also cleverly detect how many millilitres of digestive enzymes are being released after consumption of say, an omelette. All this will help AI to prepare meal charts for individuals. This discovery goes a long way in helping billions of people prevent heart ailments, diabetes and even cancer.
Last year, McCormick, an American food company that manufactures sauces, condiments and spices, had collaborated with IBM to help them with a flavour experience creation, which is a challenging domain. IBM uses an algorithm to predict a flavour where two different ingredients can be combined. Not just that, AI also helps McCormick experiment with flavours of ready-to-eat products at a much shorter period than the manual R&D would have required—all through data. Also, AI takes care of the originality of a flavour to ensure low-sodium, kosher and halal variants taste the same by finding the exact chemical compound that is responsible for the taste in original variant.
It’s not justifiable if one argues that the human brain is ultimate. With access to zillions of data and cognitive learning, AI chefs might be creatively superior. However, tech giants like Sony or Samsung don’t want the chefs to be replaced. Cooking requires an in-depth study in the molecular structure of each compound. AI will assist in finding the right balance for every aspect. It will help in sensing the user’s taste buds and delegate the robot chef on what to offer. And with AI and robots in the kitchen, meals are readily prepared.