Supercomputer is Cooking in Its Spare Time

July 3rd, 2014

Bengali Butternut BBQ sauce label

A Jeopardy-playing supercomputer thinks “Bengali Butternut BBQ” is the sauce the world has been waiting for. NPR’s Morning Edition reports that the IBM supercomputer Watson, which last made headlines as a Jeopardy contestant, has been analyzing a database of successful recipes and inventing new ones—such as a Sriracha-spiked condiment built around butternut squash, white wine, tamarind, and dates.

NPR harkens back to its 2012 interview with IBM computer scientist Lav Varshney SM ’06, ENG ’08, PhD ’10, in which he explained what goes on in IBM’s “cognitive kitchen”: “We try to predict what humans will find flavorful, based on some basic ideas from chemistry and psychology.”

Read the full interview with Varshney.

If you missed the limited edition offering, here’s the Butternut BBQ recipe, complete with official label for printing.

And learn from Bon Appétit how to volunteer as a beta-tester for a forthcoming “Chef Watson” app.

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