IBM has a food truck debuting March 7 that’s going to reinvent your favorite foods (like burritos) off of cognitive computing

Came across the IBM Tumblr the other day and it’s fairly cool; one thing they’re focusing on now is called “cognitive cooking,” and it’s described in the video above — and also in this video.

Essentially, the idea is this: search engines (i.e. Google) are great for helping us find recipes if they already exist — i.e. “chicken pasta” — but what if you have a bunch of random crap in your fridge/cabinets and want to figure out what could be made (aside from just putting it all on a pizza) but no recipe yet exists for what you’re about to create? Cognitive computing can help with this, which is also known as a “Big Data Problem” — essentially, there’s so much data (inputs, ingredients) and so many options (things can be prepared tons of ways) that it can be overwhelming. (This is all why Big Data needs to be taught better in schools.)

IBM also has a food truck, debuting this Friday in Austin, TX, that will use the power of social media to cognitively cook up new approaches to staple dishes. Here’s a basic look at how it works, here’s info on where the truck will be, and here’s a look at one of the chefs involved. You can learn more about the idea of computational creativity here:

IBM has been criticized as a slower, out-of-date company and currently might be laying off one-quarter of its hardware group, but this is a pretty cool idea. To take something so basic to America as food — and so cherished to a community like Austin as a food truck — and tie it back to Big Data and computers like Watson and all that really showcases for people how things they might not completely understand — i.e. “the cloud” — can make their everyday lives better. Now I’m just waiting for more smart refrigerators that can scan what it’s in there and tell me recipes to make. That’ll be part of the “Internet of Things” movement that hopefully can reach scale so that it doesn’t price out the middle class.

If you’re in Austin this Friday (SXSW is beginning, I believe), definitely check out this cognitive computing food truck. Seems kinda cool.

Ted Bauer

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