Goodbye grandma's recipes, there are those of Google's AI

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By: Paromita Ghosh

Last Update: 2021-01-22 00:04:37 IST

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A Google researcher gets help from Artificial Intelligence (AI) to experiment with new recipes for sweets and cookies. An example? The cakie . Here's how it is prepared.

Lockdowns, red zones, curfews have transformed many of us into skilled chefs who bake cakes, biscuits, bread, pizzas and quiches. The love for the dough has also infected Sara Robinson, a Google programmer and expert in Artificial Intelligence, who has tried to reinterpret her favorite recipes in the light of her computer skills.

AI RECIPE BOOK. Robinson used Google's AI to classify hundreds of bread, cake and cookie recipes based on the mix of ingredients used. At the end of the training, the system was able to analyze the ingredient list of a recipe and determine if the final product would be a cake, a loaf of bread or a cookie sheet.

At this point the programmer wondered which element, or set of elements, was decisive in establishing the belonging of a recipe to one group rather than another. What is the combination of ingredients that makes a cake ... cake, or a biscuit ... biscuit?

To find out, she once again got help from AI and identified the key elements that characterize both sweet and savory baked goods: butter, sugar and eggs are the top three in the ranking and are the ones that, most of all the others, allow the AI ​​to distinguish the recipe of a cake from that of biscuits or bread.

SWEET OR ...? The researcher and her collaborators then asked the system to develop hybrid recipes: breakie, half bread and half biscuits, and cakie, half cake and half biscuits. Once the dough was taken out of the oven, the result was considered interesting. The cakies in particular, advises Sara Robinson, are worth trying: crunchy on the outside like cookies and soft like a cake on the inside. For those wishing to try making a dessert thanks to AI, the recipe is available here, in English. Other than grandma's recipes. Or not?

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