Big Data In Your Kitchen – The Watson Cookbook

Watson Cookbook

Watson Cookbook

Austrian Chocolate Burrito? Vietnames Apple Kebab? Like me, you probably have not heard of these dishes. You are probably thinking  there is an error and it should really be Mexican burrito or Turkish kebabs. But, what happens when you introduce big data into the kitchen and let IBM’s Watson do all the data crunching, analysis, flavor profiling and pairing? You get interesting and new food pairing and dishes like Austrian Chocolate Burrito.

IBM’s Watson thinks more like a human being than a computer. Watson uses natural language processing and analytics and it learns and gets smarter through interactions with users and new information. Over 3 years ago Watson and The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) worked on a food related project using big data. Watson “learnt recipes, dish types, and ingredients, understand human taste preferences.  and then rearrange and redesign the data to generate unique combinations of savory ingredient pairings.”  The result of this collaboration and ICE chefs is The Watson Cookbook that was released last month. The cook book features 65 new and innovative recipes.

I have not seen this new and innovative cook book and nor have I tried any of these new recipes. But here are some folks who did try the recipes from the new Watson Cookbook and it does not sound like they fell in love with the dishes. I wonder why. You can read about what they had to say Austrian Chocolate Burrito and the Watson Cookbook.

I suspect we can expect to see a second cookbook that incorporates the feedback and new learnings from the public. Let us not forget that Watson learns through new information being fed to it. It is a cognitive machine that does not suffer from information overload like human beings. I guess we are on our way to  smarter food. It had to happen.

One more thing there is an app for the Watson Cookbook that you download. It looks you do need to log into the app via your Facebook account.


Photo and video courtesy of IBM