IBM's Watson AI comes to your kitchen

Open the coffee pod bay doors, HAL

You might not trust an artifical intelligence to drive your car (or spaceship) just yet, but what could possibly go wrong with putting one in charge of your kitchen?

IBM has teamed up with US cooking magazine Bon Appétit to give its Watson AI full rein of your razor-sharp knives, high-speed blenders, blow torches, microwave radiation and gas hobs. 

Bon Appétit is looking for beta testers for a new 'cognitive cooking' app called Chef Watson that generates millions of possible ingredient combinations, choosing dishes that it thinks will "surprise and delight the human palate". And definitely not poison you, or your fellow humans. 

Robot Masterchef

The app is powered by IBM's Watson technology, which famously humiliated meat-based opponents to win Jeopardy, America's most prestigious quiz show. Now it's using the same machine learning smarts to spice up mealtimes with dishes like these fennel-spiced ribs accompanied by a tangy apple-mustard barbecue sauce.

Grilled Corn and Nectarine Salad with Toasted Spice Vinaigrette

IBM taught Watson about cooking by feeding it 9,000 Bon Appétit recipes, from which it built up expertise about ingredient pairings, cooking styles, and combinations that definitely would not help to enslave humanity. The iPad app combines these insights with data about food chemistry, ethnic cooking styles and "hedonic psychophysics" (the psychology of what humans find pleasant and unpleasant).

Users tap in the ingredients they want to use and any allergens they want to avoid, so that Watson would never accidentally slip them into a meal before a global robot revolution. The app then spits out 100 possible recipes complete with ingredient quantities and cooking instructions. 

You may be sacrificing your human creativity to a souless machine bent on your ultimate downfall but who cares when this grilled corn and nectarine salad with toasted spice vinaigrette is so wonderfully tangy!

READ MORE: From HAL to 'Her': the top 24 artificial intelligences on film

[Source and images: Bon Appétit]

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