In today's hilarious news, the Thailand government has decided to become the guardian of Thai culinary standards by creating the Thai Delicious Committee and hired a special taste tester. A taste tester, that doesn't exactly taste things the way we do - a robot. No, this is not The Onion.
Not delicious enough, said the robot
According to the New York Times, the committee has described the robot thusly: "“an intelligent robot that measures smell and taste in food ingredients through sensor technology in order to measure taste like a food critic.” Another name for it is the 'electronic tongue'.
Which begs the question - what's wrong with just hiring a critic in the first place? This is all the fault of the recently-ousted Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra who found the standard of Thai food outside the country frankly appalling. She decided that it was of national interest that the standards of proper Thai food be upheld even outside the country. Thus the Thai Delicious Committee was born.
The robot will be unveiled at a swank event tonight in the country's capital but it's not in anyway a fancy humanoid-looking robot. It's basically a box that will scan food samples, create a chemical signature and then compare it to samples deemed worthy of Thai standards.
On the other hand, though, isn't it creepy that a country is now deciding that there is only one acceptable standard or way to make, say, tom yam or green curry? What if, heaven forbid, Hong Kong decides to have dim sum standards or New York, New York Pizza criteria that must be fulfilled?
Apparently the committee has spent around US$100,000 (S$127,283) on the taste-testing robot.