Super computer Watson can crush puny humans at Jeopardy. It can do a pretty bang-up job as a doctor. It can swear up a storm. Two of those aren't easy for a normal person, but that's not enough for IBM. IBM wants more. And part of it's plan to push Watson to its limits should really get things cooking. Literally.
Instead of putting plates together with a heaping helping of tender, loving care like mom does, Watson is taking a scientific approach. Ever the scholar, the supercomputer read up on around 20,000 recipes and their ingredients before taking the plunge and developing the "Spanish crescent" including such ingredients as cocoa, saffron, black pepper, almonds, and honey.
But Watson's an idea man machine, so James Briscione, instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan, did the actual cooking. And he was actually a bit challenged by Watson's choice not use any butter. In the end the pastry was served to some IBM insiders, and the general consensus was that it was pretty good. Especially coming from something with no tastebuds and no soul.
IBM is just noodlin' at this point, so there are no specifics on any sort of planned application. It's all just testing, but it goes to show that Watson's analytical "mind" has plenty of applications, may of which probably just haven't been sussed out yet. Watson probably won't be putting any chefs out of business any time soon. Cookbook writers? Maybe. [New York Times via CNET]