Readers of our site are now well aware of big data’s implications on everything from political elections to forecasting movie success. Nevertheless, we’ve also discussed the limitations of big data – the more “human” capacities such as the nuanced reading of texts that a computer may never adequately understand or model in a meaningful way.

But IBM’s Watson, the powerful cognitive technology that processes information more like a human than a computer, is pushing the boundaries of what a machine can accomplish given the right programming — by creating its first ever barbeque sauce.

After implementing an algorithm meant to test Watson’s capacity for creativity, it spat out a recipe mixing white wine, butternut squash, tamarind, and Thai chilies. Although Watson’s first foray into condiments, one of it’s first testers described it as a “golden, algorithmic elixir” that was nothing short of “delicious.” What’s more, Watson didn’t include any additives such as sugar or preservatives.

How did Watson do this, you might be wondering? The short answer is by using cloud analytics and artificial intelligence. Like a chef leafing through recipe books for inspiration, it used cloud analytics to gather information about existing recipes, which it then dissected into particularingredients and flavors, and artificial intelligence to come up with new concoctions it “thought” might taste good. The result is groundbreaking for both science and our palettes – data in a bottle.

Read more here

(Image Credit: IBM Research)

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