The company has offices in Japan, the United States and Europe, and it works in cooperation with other subsidiary companies of Sony. And now Sony AI has revealed its first major research initiative, the Gastronomy Flagship Project, which aims to boost the creativity and technology of chefs around the world.
Sony began investing in artificial intelligence that focuses on cooking in April 2018, when the company’s US branch signed an agreement with Carnegie Mellon University to work on artificial intelligence and robotics research.
Sony said at the time that its initial research and development would focus on improving food preparation, cooking and delivery, and at a later time it might be possible to apply the technology needed to create a robot capable of handling the complex and varied task of preparing food in other industries. According to an analysis by McKinsey & Company, 73 percent of the activities that food service workers perform are subject to automation.
The new Gastronomy Flagship Project consists of an AI-powered app for creating recipes, and a robot that can help chefs cook.
To create the app, Sony AI says it will leverage a range of data sources, including: recipes, ingredient information, such as taste, aroma, flavor, molecular structure and nutrients to train AI algorithms that will help chefs create and design recipes.
The company noted that creating recipes is a challenging field of research for AI due to the endless set of ingredients, as well as limitations such as location, climate, season, and health and nutritional preferences that must be taken into account.
Sony AI said: Through the application, it aims not only to help create delicious food, but also to contribute to maintaining people’s health and environmental sustainability.
An AI system that can prepare food recipes may not be far fetched. IBM recently announced that it is collaborating with McCormick & Company to create new flavors and foods using machine learning technology. IBM’s Chef Watson, a research project that seeks to create new recipes by analyzing the chemical composition of hundreds of different ingredients, has produced more than 10,000 new dishes.
For Sony’s upcoming AI cooking robot, temporarily called Chef Assisting Cooking Robot, the company says it will aid the entire cooking process from preparation to dish arrangement, through the use of sensors and machine learning methods such as learning by imitation.