The IBM Chef Watson Project!

The Lempert Report
April 30, 2015

Check out this latest innovation to help you cook with inspiration!

If you're looking for inspiration for you next food pairing,or an innovative new recipe, you might want to try IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence computer. That's right!  Watson, well known for defeating two human grand champions to win the US quiz show Jeopardy, has turned its very intelligent attention to the kitchen:

(Video Courtesy of IBM Watson) 

Steve Abrams - Director, Watson Life We think of Watson as really being on the third leading edge of this era of computing. A world in which computers are not just programs but they learn from what they've read and learn from their interactions with people. And these are very different systems and in particular, Chef Watson is an example of  what we call discover technology.  This is technology that can help people discover relationships insights, connections and things that may be in a much larger body of text than a human being could read. You can think of applying that concept of discover to many other domains

PHIL: So using this innovative approach to food analysis and recipe building IBM used Chef Watson to scan public data sources to construct a library of information on recipes,  chemical compounds in food, and common pairings. 

Florian Pinel - Lead Engineer, Chef Watson So the way it works is that we've created a food knowledge database that contains information about ingredients and recipes, but also much more detailed information. We have information about the  ingredients at the molecular level. We have nutrition facts about the ingredients.  and we gathered also information about people's likes and dislikes.  What we call hidden unicycle physics.

PHIL: The Watson team has even published a cookbook which launched April 14. As Lead Engineer for Chef Watson, Florian Pinel says "The point behind this cookbook effort is not simply to inspire people with recipes that will wow dinner guests with unusual ingredient combinations. It’s also been a journey to discover the versatility of cognitive computing, and more specifically, what are the “ingredients” needed to generate new innovations and ideas."

Steve Abrams - Director, Watson Life We've created a cookbook by partnering with our friends at the Institute of Culinary Education, a cookbook that contains something like 65 of Chef Watson’s greatest hits. And when you see these pictures and see the recipes you really start to understand how the computer has pushed creativity. In this case pushed the creativity of the Chef.

James Biscione - Director of Culinary Development, Institute of Culinary Education The past 2 years working with Chef Watson has been an incredible experience and I think we’re just now scratching the surface.  I think we’re all so excited about being a part of this project and can’t wait what everyone else could possible do with access now to this information and technology.