There are probably a million cooking apps out there, but none of them are backed by a supercomputer. Meet Chef Watson: a “cognitive computing app” that promises to revolutionize the way you cook and expand your gastronomic comfort zone.

Bon Appetit announced a new collaboration with IBM, called “Chef Watson,” which invites amateur and professional chefs to try new, unexpected flavor combinations, based on Watson’s analysis of over 10,000 recipes. The supercomputer analyzed what ingredients go together well in different styles of cooking and recommends ingredients based on what you are already using. For each ingredient, Chef Watson suggests three other ingredients (in various quantities) that probably complement its flavor, as well as dish suggestions. Now, the Web app is open to everyone – log on, tell it what you want to cook and try its suggestions.

Programmers also made it easier to implement food restrictions (such as vegetarianism or allergies). It also suggests dishes based on what ingredients you already have in your kitchen.

While this probably won’t revolutionize cooking, it’s definitely a great example of how high-end technology can help people in day to day tasks.

“Chef Watson demonstrates how smart machines can help people explore the world around them and discover new possibilities and new ways of getting things done, whether it’s finding promising treatment pathways to fight diseases or helping law firms build courtroom strategies by discovering connections between their cases and earlier precedents,” IBM Chief Storyteller Stephen Hamm wrote in a blog post. “It also signals that there will be a wide variety of uses for cognitive technologies designed to help individuals live better and have more fun.”


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