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IBM puts Watson in charge of its SXSW food truck, we taste-test (video)

Sarah Silbert
03.08.14
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We know Watson has some Jeopardy skills, but putting IBM's supercomputer in the kitchen? That's a little different. Here at SXSW, the company's set up a "Cognitive Cooking" food truck in partnership with the Institute for Culinary Education (ICE). Using Watson's recipe system, which combines three elements (ingredient, cuisine and type of dish) to create unconventional new fare, chefs here in Austin are churning out delicacies such as ceviche fish and chips and Vietnamese apple kebabs.

Gallery: IBM Watson food truck | 12 Photos

ICE creative director Michael Laiskonis, who was on hand making IBM's take on fish and chips today, says Watson is able to identify compatible ingredients that chefs may not consider -- such as mushrooms and strawberries, which share similarities on the molecular level. Florian Pinel, a software engineer at IBM, walked us through the recipe-generation process, asking us for an ingredient (we chose saffron), and then giving us options for cuisine and type of dish. The result? Azerbaijani Saffron Cake, with cherry plum, pistachio and cloves. Watson's truck will serve the most popular recipe of the day, so vote for ours here so we can subject SXSW to our culinary whims. Oh, and check out the scene at the food truck in the video below.

Zach Honig contributed to this report.

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