Algorithms are data mining every aspect of our lives and the world around us — to pull out interesting bits of information that we should act on. Companies like Google and Facebook come up with algorithms to figure out when to put ads in front of our eyes and how to display pertinent information (sometimes at the same time). Other algorithms are apparently watching what we eat, and trying to highlight what makes food taste good for us or how to formulate the “perfect Pepsis” or find unexpected recipes or flavor combinations. Here are just a few examples of software-based culinary art.
- Data mining thousands of Indian food recipes reveals that chefs of this cuisine pair flavors in a way that western cuisine generally does not. Western food combines ingredients that have overlapping flavors, but Indian cuisine pairs ingredients that seem to minimize common flavors. [url]
- IBM’s Chef Watson (based on its Jeopardy-winning algorithms) has created some “cognitive cooking” by analyzing thousands of recipes to create new dishes of its own. When will a robot competitor appear in an Iron Chef episode? [url]
- Some foodie snobs are worried that artificial intelligence in the kitchen will lead to a destruction of cuisine as an art and part of culture. Other folks, though, are more optimistic that kitchen AI will free humans from the drudgery of cooking and open up a new world of culinary art. (Still, others are concerned that software cannot be inventors under US intellectual property laws, and that novel recipes or inventions created by AI won’t be protected by patents or copyright.) [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.