Sony AI launches its Gastronomy Flagship Undertaking to make the world a bit of tastier

Sony AI recently announced its Gastronomy Flagship Project, an AI-powered initiative aimed at “enhancing the creativity and techniques of chefs around the world”. This may sound like a small potato problem compared to self-driving cars, virtual assistants, or other popular AI programs. But everyone eats.

The art of cooking has been around as long as there have been people with an appetite. Sony AI would have a hard time finding a field with more ubiquitous coverage than hospitality. On the Sony AI website:

With the aim of enhancing the creativity and techniques of chefs around the world, the Gastronomy Flagship Project consists of the research and development of an AI application for creating new recipes, a robotic solution that can assist chefs in their cooking process, and one Community co-creation initiative that will serve as the basis for these activities.

Sony AI describes this initiative as a way for chefs to provide tools and resources to create new culinary creations and connect with their fans. And yes, fans are definitely the right word. Twenty seconds on Instagram is enough to show you just how big gourmet culture has become. There are more people than ever devoted to entertaining others through the preparation, presentation and discussion of new and interesting techniques for making and serving food and drink.

Like gaming and imaging, catering is a market with no upper limit in sight.

Related: AI will soon decide what we eat

Sony AI’s contributions in this area will take a tripartite approach. The first pen is AI for recipe creation. For years, developers have tried neural networks to find recipes, with some often strange results. However, Sony AI’s endeavors aren’t just about putting a number of recipes in a database and seeing what a GAN spits out.

According to a press release:

Sony AI will use a variety of data sources – including recipe and ingredient data such as taste, aroma, flavor, molecular structure, nutrients, etc. – to develop a recipe creation app powered by proprietary AI algorithms to serve the world Top chefs in their creative process of ingredient pairing, recipe design and menu creation.

The next step for the company is to develop a cooking assistant in the form of a robot. The company hopes to create a smart, automated solution to the age-old problem of kitchen help. What could be more exciting is this little hint from the website:

Sony AI aims to develop a solution that will assist chefs throughout the cooking process from preparation to coating by training the robots with sensors and AI to acquire skills.

In addition, remote operations of these robots, for example to serve the chef’s meals to people in remote locations, are also the subject of this research and development effort.

Sounds a lot like Sony AI’s work on a system that could be used to program a robot in Amsterdam, for example, to create a 1: 1 replica of a meal that was created by a cook in Hollywood, for example. If that means I can finally get authentic Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles without having to go back to LA, I’ll be the first to call it a Eureka Science and AI Moment.

Ultimately, the company hopes to use its machine learning tools to facilitate community collaboration and interaction in the cooking world. In one such trial, the company plans to publish interviews with various chefs on topics such as food sustainability and nutritional health during the pandemic as a community-building series.

Take quickly: Sony AI’s commitment to the hospitality industry is impressive. This is a real problem that affects everyone in every single country on earth. While we all may not be able to make gourmet avocado toast and drink mimosa over the gossip, everyone eats.

Sony’s AI efforts could lead to new nutritional discoveries, better growing and cultivation techniques, and even clever solutions to the bigger problems of hunger and hunger.

We can’t wait to see what the company cooks up in 2021. For more information, please visit the Sony AI website here.

Published on December 18, 2020 – 19:37 UTC

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