IBM puts its AI supercomputer Watson in charge of its food truck

We know Watson has some Jeopardy skills, but putting IBM’s supercomputer in the kitchen? That’s a little different. Here at SXSW, the company’s set up a “Cognitive Cooking” food truck in partnership with the Institute for Culinary Education. Using Watson’s recipe system, which combines three elements to create unconventional new fare, chefs here in Austin are churning out delicacies such as ceviche fish and chips and Vietnamese apple kebabs.

Watson, IBM’s artificially intelligent supercomputer, is known for beating the pants off Jeopardy contestants in trivia. But soon it might also be known for giving foodies on Top Chef a run for their money at cooking. This weekend in Austin, IBM showed off Watson’s Cognitive Cooking program, a system that taps into the supercomputer’s analytics and machine learning tools to whip up novel recipes, depending on user tastes and food preferences. It’s a novel application of Watson, designed to draw more attention to the IBM brand. (The company revealed the service at SXSW with a food truck that had customers lining up–even in the rain.) But the program also demonstrates the types of consumer-facing applications IBM could cook up using Watson in the future. 

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