Chef Watson!

chefChef Watson website here

This is great timing as Anthony Kesterton from IBM, and his colleague Alice, are coming to Code Club next week to explain all about this and to do a coding activity with you based around it! Click on the picture to read the full article on The Guardian’s website.

“Four years after beating two human champions to win the US game show Jeopardy!, IBM’s cognitive computing system is set to release its first cookbook – with the help of a few human specialists. Out in April from independent American publisher Sourcebooks, Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson uses the supercomputer to generate exotic ingredient combinations from the “trillions” of potential groupings out there, with chefs from the Institute of Culinary Education then designing recipes based on Watson’s suggestions. The book will feature, promises its publisher, “unusual ingredient combinations that man alone might never imagine”.

IBM’s experts began by “training” Watson – which is named after IBM founder Thomas Watson – on tens of thousands of recipes, and on the chemical composition of foods, moving on to the flavours and ingredients which complement each other – such as rosemary and potatoes, or olives and gin. The computer then used three different metrics to analyse ingredients, rating them for surprise (suggesting ingredients which are rarely found together), pleasantness (“researchers have carried out studies on the flavours that give people pleasure at a molecular level,” says the book), and synergy (“studies indicate that foods sharing common chemical flavour compounds taste good together”).”

Big Data, Artificial Human Intelligence & Algorithms combined – Wow, I think we’re in for some interesting conversations next week!

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About nic schofield

I’m a primary schools computing technician, interested in teaching children, their teachers & their parents, about IoT, computational thinking and implications of technology on their lives and encouraging children to think critically about technology to influence change in the world.

24 thoughts on “Chef Watson!

    • Thanks Anthony, I am going to try it out now! Loved meeting you both and see you again soon….!


    • Thank you very much for coming! I really liked learning about the “Meet Ann” company! (note from Nicola “Meet Ann” is the IBM poster on display at school!). What you do in IBM is really outstanding, and I can see why Ann has such a sophisticated, yet healthy life. I can’t wait to use the Chef Watson! I know whatever it swirls up, will be as brilliant as you guys! I especially liked how Watson was used for the game show, “Jeopardy”. Its making was quite extraordinary! I also noticed how the microphone object connected to the mini iPad- it displayed the noise level, and it moved and faced whoever was talking. Maybe you could expand it, by maybe clicking, or whistling, instead of always switching the microphone over! But it’s still really cool! Again thanks for coming and I hope to see you again!


    • Thank you Anthony for coming that night. It was agreed pleasure meeting and I enjoyed it loads. My favourite part was learning about the Chef Watson and even having a go at what bazaar recipes that we can make. Thanks again for coming.


  1. I think this is good, and I have a money making idea! type a bunch of ingredients if a good recipe is made test it, if it tastes good give it to your family, if they like it put it in your recipe book, publish it, send it to WHSmith and TADA! MOney is made.


    • Funnily enough, Watson now has his own cook book – if he sells it he is already making money. Sorry, we talk about “him” but I’m sure Watson must be a she actually.


  2. I can now eat takeaways without paying and (hopefully) have the same standard of food quality! I don’t what to pay for it too much though. Artificial intelligence will take over the world!!!


    • Maybe, instead of taking over the world, it will “augment” it – can you find out what this means, Riccardo?


  3. If I owned this I would be SO great since my mum’s cooking isn’t amazing. (It’s true. Ask everyone who has been to my house.) I would also have different meals instead of pasta every 2 days. And like Riccardo said, I could have good quality takeaways!


    • KIP!!!! I hope your mum doesn’t read the blog. Here’s an idea – why don’t YOU take over the cooking as mum may be tired of it all, I get so bored of thinking what to cook for my fussy family!


  4. That is actually quite amazing. After listening to Mr Kesrterton and Alice, I have learnt lots about the Watson. The Chef Watson is great too. I would love to have one of the Watson’s so then I can be the best brain box ever!! I would even love to make those recipes as well!


    • Priya, weren’t we lucky that Anthony & Alice were able to give up time from their busy working days to come and tell us about Watson? I feel very privileged!


  5. I would use chef Watson to force people to eat foods that they don’t like. I would do this by putting in one of their favourite in and the ingredient that I want them to eat.


    • A good ploy for fussy eaters? I should have tried it on my son when he was younger…


  6. Can it tell the difference between salt and sugar? It would not be very nice, for a customer, to eat a sour cake, or sweet food (unless intended)!


    • I am sure Alice said it that Watson was programmed with the different qualities of each food – taste, texture, chemical make up etc.


  7. i really want my own robotic chef so i can have noodles and pancakes every day!
    ¦¬) also i won’t have to wash all the dishes


  8. I am not sure about using this because if it gave me something like eggs with milk I would probably not use him again.


  9. Very impressive am sure my parents would love one. How does it remember all the recipes and take apart ingredients for eg basil and peas.


  10. Artificial Human Intelligence! YAY!!! (I call it Ahigh.. actually I just thought of that now) I don’t even know what it is, but it sounds really, really interesting.


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