Big Data Food

So, you think you know how to cook? Great chefs try out new things and come up with inspiring dishes. You’re a foodie? How about a computer? Can a computer be a great chef?

Can a computer be creative?

Well, maybe. An article at Wired on computers getting creative with food implies that the answer is yes. Researchers have used data from millions of recipes, what dishes are popular from different countries, and molecular chemistry to make really good food dishes.

To do this, they had to come up with some interesting things.

To do all of this, you choose what kind of dish you want. A main ingredient, a regional style, and whether it’s a soup, entree, or dessert. The program analyzes millions of different recipes to see what goes with what, what kind of dishes that region makes, etc. It comes up with likely recipes.

Then it does something interesting. It gets creative. They defined creativity for this by saying that a dish should be novel, and of high quality. To do this, the program picks things that are different. Then it has to analyze quality. It analyzes the kinds of molecules that will be there when the dish is cooked, and sees what molecules will be pleasing.
The program is actually creating new, good, recipes.