If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
What do Tuscan Chicken, Bourbon Pork Tenderloin and New Orleans Sausage all have in common? They're all new spice mix flavours that have been developed by the world's biggest spice firm using artificial intelligence (AI). But with taste such a subjective experience, can machines really do the job better than humans? And what does this mean for cultures that see spice as a clear token of identity? Spice giant McCormick, which sells spices to consumers but also develops flavours for the food industry, says it spent four years crunching through more than 40 years of flavour-related data, using machine learning to come up with new flavour combinations that human scientists might not have considered.
You may not think that Tuscan chicken's creamy, garlicky flavor is due for a high-tech upgrade, but advanced artificial intelligence is on the case all the same. An AI algorithm is about to analyze and improve that and other classic recipes before designing some brand-new foods as well. And if it goes well, we can expect AI to play a bigger role in developing the foods we eat every day. Right now, some big names are working to amass the expertise of all the world's food experts, head chefs, and flavor scientists into a single artificial intelligence algorithm that concocts new foods better and faster than any mere human. The smartest algorithms aren't quite there, but some big names are working on it.
The world's largest spice maker is hoping AI will help it come up with some new flavours in order to, uh, spice things up. McCormick & Company has been around for 130 years and makes a wide range of seasonings, spices, and condiments. However, after that many years, it seems the firm's human minds are running out of ideas. "McCormick's use of artificial intelligence highlights our commitment to insight-driven innovation and the application of the most forward-looking technologies to continually enhance our products and bring new flavours to market. This is one of several projects in our pipeline where we've embraced new and emerging technologies."
We've all been there: You're craving something, but you're just not quite sure what. Is it possible artificial intelligence might know the answer? McCormick thinks that might be the case. The flavor giant has teamed up with IBM to use AI to help develop new, more wonderful flavors. Founded back in 1889, and with 500 development employees across 20 labs in 14 countries, McCormick boasts that it's a perfectly positioned for using AI.
Nobody hops out of bed in the morning, thinks to themselves, "Today, I'm going to invent the next Oreo," and actually follows through on it. Even training in the skills necessary to become a professional food product developer can take the better park of two decades, much less creating and testing the thousands of flavor iterations needed to dial in on the perfect taste that will finally unseat Cool Ranch Doritos. But thanks to IBM's Philyra AI, spice manufacturer McCormick & Company's R&D the team is leveraging machine learning to cut the time it takes to develop new flavors by up to 70 percent. Last October, IBM Research unveiled the Philyra AI as a tool to accelerate the creation of new and novel scents for the fragrance industry. "It is a system that uses new and advanced machine learning algorithms to sift through hundreds of thousands of formulas and thousands of raw materials," Dr.
McCormick & Company, a pioneer in flavor and food innovation, and my team at IBM Research have created a novel AI system to help product developers more efficiently and effectively create new flavor experiences. This year, we will celebrate a milestone in our ongoing collaboration that's been four years in the making: Our first AI-enabled retail products will be available on grocer's shelves. McCormick & Company heard about early work at IBM using AI to pair flavors and generate recipes. They reached out to IBM Research to explore AI's potential in their environment as a leader in custom flavor and food product development. You may be familiar with McCormick & Company as the name on the label of some your favorite seasonings and flavoring products.
McCormick might be a brand name you recognize from its herbs and spices, French's Classic Yellow Mustard or even "edible" KFC-flavored nail polish. For more than 40 years, it's recorded reams of data on product formulas, customer taste preferences and flavor palettes. Over the last four years, McCormick has worked with IBM on an AI platform called ONE. Product developers have so far used insights it gleaned from the data to create Tuscan chicken, bourbon pork tenderloin and New Orleans sausage seasonings -- they'll be in US stores by the end of the spring. McCormack says its aim with ONE is to create family-friendly seasonings you can use on both proteins and vegetables, while AI has helped it speed up product development by up to three times.
On some future visit to your neighborhood supermarket, at least a few of the groceries you pick up for that night's dinner party or the next day's lunch will have been designed with artificial intelligence (AI) -- or so thinks IBM. The Armonk, New York company today announced that it's teaming up with McCormick & Company -- the century-old purveyor of spices, seasoning, mixes, and condiments for industrial and home kitchens alike -- to create new flavors and foods with machine learning. The collaboration -- which IBM says was four years in the making -- will see McCormick & Company tap IBM's Research AI for Product Composition tech for AI-derived insights, which IBM claims has already enabled the food company's Consumer and Flavor Solutions divisions to discover new herb, extract, marinade, and stock flavor combinations up to 3 times faster. The recipe-predicting AI, drawing on McCormick's proprietary "hundreds of millions" of data points across sensory science and flavor palettes, will fuel the launch of its forthcoming product family -- One -- which it expects will launch in mid-2019. "IBM Research's collaboration with McCormick illustrates our commitment to helping our clients and partners drive innovation across industries," said Kathryn Guarini, vice president of IBM's industrial research division.
Sure, we're accustomed to artificial flavors influencing how our food tastes, but artificial intelligence getting baked in now? The use of artificial intelligence just might provide the key ingredients that make that next meal taste better. That's the hopeful outcome, anyway, from a research collaboration revealed Monday between McCormick & Company and IBM. "There could be this perfect ingredient you just don't know about," said Richard Goodwin, IBM's principal research scientist. Finding the right recipe for flavorful formulas has typically meant adding, subtracting and changing ingredients, with as many as 150 iterations in some cases before a product is deemed commercially ready, says McCormick's chief science officer Hamed Faridi.
For the average home cook, creating a new recipe can be a fun, simple experiment -- they may pull from their list of go-to ingredients and spices to create different combinations of flavors. Sometimes it's works, and sometimes it doesn't. Let's say they're tasked with developing a seasoning for a specific dish, such as a rice bowl. They'll have to meet a variety of requirements related to factors like the price range, ingredients used, sustainability or healthiness. Working within those constraints, the developer picks a "base formula" to start with -- they'll usually have around 5,000 or 10,000 base formulas to choose from.