Most of us are now aware of the term ’AI (Artificial Intelligence)’ as it slowly adapts to our lifestyle and assists our needs in many scenes. The adaptation of technology is already widely accepted from robots that help production lines in factories to casual household items like robotic vacuums and AI-powered doorbells. Among the many AI-supported fields within our lifestyle, the food industry is gaining momentum as the next hot interest.
The Adaptation of AI in the Food Industry
The food industry is a pretty broad expression that describes our everyday food on the table and local supermarkets, to restaurants, food factories, farmers, and general agriculture. All of these places are possibilities for AI to intervene for enhancement.
For example, AI interfaces that already exist for everyday assistance would be apps that provide healthy meal recipes catered to our needs or camera apps that can automatically calculate the calories on a plate. At industrial levels, factories and retail stores use AI to enhance productivity through inventory management and cashless payment systems.
In agriculture, there are farms that already use automated tractors to plow the land and drones programmed to automatically spray pesticides in specific areas when the cameras sense harmful pests.
Although the applications of AI are diverse, there are still challenges. If the AI malfunctions for whatever reason, in the end, it requires manual intervention from a human. There are still lots of improvements and testing that need to be done to rely upon completely automated systems.
The Possibilities of Robot Chefs
Are you aware of the “Moley Robotics Kitchen?’
It’s an automated kitchen robot that can cut, stir, boil, serve, and clean up afterward. This invention was made by a company called Moley Robotics that released its prototype in 2015 to provide an automated cooking service.
People were amazed when they first saw the two robotic arms artfully complete human tasks.
It downloads recipes from its own site and the user could pick different menus from various countries, cooking time, and calories. It’s a great idea in concept but has not been implemented yet due to challenges such as costs. Moley Robotics claims commercial use plans to happen in 2021.
It’s crazy that a robot can provide cooking services from scratch from whatever menu we like. AI robots can store and learn from their data, constantly improving their technique. In that sense, AI has a lot of potential in making our lives greater.
The Era of Robot Restaurants on the Rise
There are restaurants in the world that already implement automation by robots. In China, there is a robot-aided hotpot restaurant where robots roam the floor to serve while, an AI system assists to manage the kitchen, reception, and inventory for optimal productivity.
There are still real humans involved as they need to assure aspects of safety and maintenance. However, automation allows for the company to cut big costs. With the extra money, they can invest more into food materials, menu development, and service quality, which adds more value to the restaurant and increases customer satisfaction.
Another high interest among food AI developers is to “quantify taste.” This will allow an. objective perspective through data, and the collected data will help understand developers whether certain factors like age and sexual orientation matter in what we consider delicious. If taste could be understood through data, in turn, it will help us understand our own liking of food.
High Hopes for AI Future Tech in Food
AI already is part of our lives and has so much more potential to enhance our eating experience. Although it will still take time to completely rely on automation, over time, the technological developments will most likely allow us to rely on AI for nutrition and eating habit management. Accurate information obtained from AI deep learning will solidify the grounds enough for people to rely upon it.
An AI that can provide the best-customized menu according to a person’s health conditions, taste buds, and timing without any manual labor involved, will surely have a demand for busy health-conscious people.
We all desire safe delicious meals. It may not be that far into the future that we can rely on technology that assists this.
Izawa, H., & Yamanishi, R. (2018, June 5–8). How can we apply AI to a study of gastronomy? [Presentation]. The 32nd Annual Conference of the Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence, Kagoshima, Japan. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/pjsai/JSAI2018/0/JSAI2018_2O3OS24b02/_pdf/-char/ja