AI in Kitchen: The Fusion of Technology and Taste

AI in Kitchen: The Fusion of Technology and Taste

Is AI going to change the way we cook and eat? Ready or not to taste the future, AI is already taking over our cooking spaces. You may love it, be skeptical about it, or hate it, but there is no turning back from the AI revolution. Food robotics and AI cooking assistants are paving a way to new era of culinary innovation. Welcome to the world where even your stove is considered smart.

AI-Powered Cooking

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AI-powered cooking is not just an integration of artificial intelligence with different aspects of cooking, but an intriguing and adventurous shift in the way we approach food. What exactly do we have in mind when we say AI-powered cooking? 

Cook Like a Star: Recipe Recommendation

AI-powered platforms can generate recipes that are tailored to your wants and needs. Whether you have certain food allergies or follow specific diets, AI can offer a variety of suggestions for your meals. It will analyze all relevant data and provide a recipe for a gluten-free bread or vegan stew. Maybe you just want to prepare a tasty French meal, like Bouillabaisse or French onion soup. All you have to do is ask, and voila, the recipe is ready! 

Or you only have 2 eggs, carrots, and some butter in your fridge and don’t know what to do with them. AI knows and it will solve your problem in seconds. It’s interesting that AI can provide recipes in the style of famous chefs, such as Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsey. You can also ask it to create a fusion of different cuisines. 

Eating Smart: Personalized Nutrition

Personalized nutrition is a growing trend among longevity enthusiasts, athletes, biohackers, health and wellness coaches, and ordinary people concerned for their health. Some AI-powered platforms can provide personalized nutrition recommendations based on your DNA, blood tests, medical history, and lifestyle habits.  

Providing additional information, like food intolerances and cultural dietary practices can further enhance AI’s ability to create personalized nutrition recommendations. Companies like Nutrigenomix, InsideTracker, DNAfit, and Habit are just a few examples of those using AI to revolutionize the approach to health and nutrition. 

Stress-Free Meal Planning

Anyone who has ever tried to create a weekly or monthly meal plan knows how tedious and exhausting it can be. AI-powered apps can suggest personalized meal plans according to your preferences. These apps are pretty smart. They can follow your nutritional needs or dietary choices, suggest cost-effective meals that will save you money, or recipes based on ingredients you have available in your fridge.  

AI can generate shopping lists or integrate with food delivery services. Overall, meal-planning apps can save you time, money, and energy and are worthy of consideration. Some of the popular apps are Mealme, Plan to Eat, Yummly, Cook Smarts, and many more.  

Guided Cooking for Beginners and Beyond

Step-by-step cooking instructions provided by AI can be extremely helpful, especially to novice cooks. There are many useful applications that offer guided cooking, instructional videos, tracking of cooking progress, feedback, and supportive online communities.  

For example, Fresco is an app that offers interactive recipes and guided cooking experiences with the ability to connect to smart appliances. Many smart cooking appliances have their own AI-powered apps that enable users to control and monitor cooking remotely. Some that are available are Fresco, Tasty, or Kitchen Stories. 

AI and Sustainable Cooking: Reducing Food Waste 

AI-powered apps can keep track of ingredients you have in your kitchen and prompt you to use them before they expire. They can also recommend recipes based on these ingredients to avoid unnecessary purchases and to reduce food waste. AI can even assist you in preparing the right amount of food to avoid leftovers.  

AI-generated shopping lists can be extremely friendly to your budget. By taking into account what you currently have in your fridge or pantry, as well as your meal plan, AI can save you a lot of money by stopping you from buying unnecessary things. By analyzing your behavior and consumption patterns, it can also predict future needs. Apps like Fridge Pal, FoodKeeper, and NoWaste are helpful. Too Good to Go is an app that provides information on local grocery stores and restaurants that offer discounted prices for expiring food to prevent it from going to waste. 

The Future Is Now: AI-Powered Home Kitchen Devices

Smart appliances have built-in technology developed to make your life easier, safer, and more convenient. By connecting to the Internet, they allow the user to control them remotely via smartphones or voice commands. Their main benefits are their ability to save energy and lower bills, to self-diagnose for maintenance, and to adjust to your needs. These devices are able to perform simple everyday tasks making your life easier and more comfortable. Integrating them into smart home systems has the potential to completely transform the way we live. 

It Can Do Everything... But Can It Cook? 

Moley Robotics

Whether artificial intelligence (AI) wants to take over the world or is here just to help us with our daily chores, one thing is certain – they are slow the learn the mastery of cooking. Robot chefs can do repetitive tasks, like flipping burgers or assembling pizzas, mimicking professional chefs, but their cooking skills are still in infancy. 

Ever heard of Moley Robotics? It’s the first fully robotic kitchen that automates almost every cooking task. Moley can adjust temperatures, mix and pour ingredients into pans, stir pots, cook, and clean up after cooking. It can monitor more than 1000 parameters and it can touch, smell, see, and hear with the help of sensors on kitchen appliances and utensils and send feedback to its OS. But can it really cook? 

ChattyChef

A team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology’s College of Computing created Chatty Chef, a dataset that uses natural language processing models to help a user follow certain recipes while cooking. They used the open-source large language model GPT-J. Turns out, robots have a hard time following step-by-step recipes. 

Most attempts to use LLM for cooking failed because GPT-J struggles to understand the user intent or what the user wants to do next. It has trouble grasping the user’s cooking progress and answering clarification questions. ChattyChef’s creators believe that their innovations will solve current cooking problems, but also help other domains of AI use. 

Robotic Chef Salad

Bio-Inspired Robotics Laboratory at the University of Cambridge developed a new generation of cooking robots that use neural networks and artificial intelligence to learn and follow recipes. Their goal is to create a robotic salad chef who is capable of preparing salads by mixing different ingredients and learning new recipes autonomously.  

At the moment, it can make eight salads composed of two to three ingredients. Its training was based on watching videos with step-by-step cooking instructions from human chefs.  

The researchers used two existing neural networks developed for AI research. One is YOLO, designed for the detection and recognition of objects and trained on the COCO database of realistic everyday scenes. The second is OpenPose, developed to recognize and analyze the posture, positions, and movement of a cook, especially their right wrist. The Salad Chef is still in its infancy and needs a lot of improvement and training. 

Training Robots to Be Foodies

In another scientific endeavor, the same team from the University of Cambridge dedicated their time to teaching their robot chef to taste food. As tasting is an important aspect of cooking, it’s essential to train robots to recognize different tastes similar to humans. Robots are trained to assess the saltiness of a dish at different stages of the chewing process with the goal of learning what tastes good and what doesn’t. The results are impressive and promising

The Future of Robot Chefs

Robot chefs have come a long way, but they still struggle with basic capabilities, like gripping, grabbing, and manipulating objects without dropping them. They still lack precision, coordination, and understanding of their surroundings. They haven’t completely mastered simple tasks, like peeling potatoes or dicing carrots. When it comes to following recipes or recognizing ingredients, AI chefs are still learning and improving. AI chefs are fast learners and their bright future is probably very near. 

Yet, many people believe that robots will never capture secret ingredients essential for great cooking: love and passion. We're left to wonder if these mechanical chefs will ever make a soup that tastes like grandma's. For now, we’ll watch and wait to see how close they can get. 

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