Will AI Technology Replace Real Chef's?

The Lempert Report
February 08, 2023

I'm intrigued. You know, when we go back to the days where we started the Food Network we had some celebrity chefs like Emeril and Julia Child reruns and so on. It's fast forwarded a lot since that point. And now there's a new startup, it started over in India, now it's come to Palo Alto, that could be the next celebrity chef. What's that all about? 

Sally: Well, Phil, it's called CloudChef. And it is all based on AI sensors and scanners. So what they do is they get a popular chef to make a one of their signature dish dishes with these sensors and computers following what they're doing. And what it's doing is, it's not only getting the exact recipe, but it's also capturing the chef's intuition, how the chef stirs the pot, how brown the onions are. So it's really capturing all the nuances of making a great dish. So what you can do with this, with Cloud chef, and this is, this could be a really great benefit to chefs out there who can only cook in one place, is you can, if available in your area, you can order one of these dishes for delivery, and a kitchen is set up to make this dish for you exactly like the chef would. 

Sally: Now, we can think about this very much like a Spotify playlist, how musicians can put their music up on Spotify and people can come and get it there. So it's kind of the same, same idea that you can go get, get the food made by AI or by, by a person using AI in a kitchen, and a royalty will go to the chef. Now, what I'm concerned about, Phil, and I wonder what you think is, are those royalties really going to go to the chef? Because if we look at music and we look at art and what AI has done to that industry, it hasn't happened. Those creators have not been paid out. So I really hope that the same thing doesn't happen to these chefs. 

Phil: Yeah. You bring up a really good point that it's a cool idea. Right now what they're doing is, is they're using it to have, I don't even wanna call them chefs, but people with no culinary schools in dark kitchens and in restaurants following this AI so that they can make these superb dishes. I think that, you know, what, what you're gonna see happen that hopefully could prevent your point is that on the menu, it's gonna have the chef's name so that it really brings to that restaurant a new level of image. And, you know, pizazz if you would, and why you should buy this, you know, dish. Because of this famous chef. Also, they're talking about doing something for home cooks that you could do it at home and follow the same thing. And to your point, what's really interesting is, that they're able to get the chef's intuition. 

Phil: I'd like to know more about that. Cloud Chef says that the employees or people who have never stepped foot in a kitchen before, they prepare the meals, which are stitched together using software, which I find really interesting. I think we have to know a lot more before it comes to your home and my home. But, you know, we'll see. But certainly AI is getting bigger and bigger. The other downside to the whole thing is we then clump, as we've seen on Spotify and other music services, we clump the top 12, 20, 100 chefs, and that's what everybody's getting. And the poor chef, you know, in a small restaurant in Nashville or or in Santa Monica that wants to make it never has a chance because this AI really takes the place of that person. So I'll have to see how this all plays out, but to your point, the royalties really need to be monitored properly, otherwise you're gonna have chefs, you know, sign up for it and then they're gone. They're out of it.