- The Plate
My Computer, My Sous Chef: Watson’s Black Tea-Blueberry-Basil Granita
Watson is IBM’s computer that famously won at Jeopardy in 2011. The quiz show’s brain-teasers, rich with puns, homonyms, and slang, require more than a Google-like ability to spit out facts. Jeopardy demands creative thinking.
So does cooking. Watson’s creators believed it could think outside of the box to create unexpected and delicious flavor combinations, because it doesn’t have sorted “boxes” of knowledge like human brains do (unless, of course, Watson’s creators tell it to). Whereas a human brain might never imagine salmon and blackberries together, a computer armed with the best food and cooking information might.
Enter Bon Appetit, creator of tens of thousands of rigorously-tested recipes. As programmers inputted those recipes into Watson, the computer “learned” cooking techniques and—more