IBM’s Watson Now Has A Cook Book

Who doesn’t like their food? From the simple sandwich to a Sunday roast, there are plenty of meals you can make to enjoy in anything from five minutes to five hours. When it comes to trying to make something new, most people including professional chefs, prefer to go with using combinations and mixtures they know and like. IBM decided that they didn’t quite like this and tasked Watson, their cognitive computing system, to create a culinary cook book and it delivered.

Available now, the cookbook is a combination of Watsons and the Institute of Culinary Education’s experience creating over 65 different recipes using a combination of classical chef talent and cognitive science. Watson generates the recipes list of ingredients, with the result presenting a combination of scientific flavours while a Chef combined the ingredients to create recipes that even a computer could love.

Starting with a Baltic Apple Pie, Kris Naudus of Engadget found out the hard way that some of the recipes are a little more tricky than the originals they were based upon. The first thing that surprised Naudus was the inclusion of pork to the Apple pie, and the two sauces and garnish included in the recipe only add to the restaurant feel the book looks to create.

With recipes like Indian Tumeric Paella, which “brings simple Indian flavors to a classic paella”, and Turkish Bruschetta, a simple meal that would now include spices and even Japanese eggplants (also known as aubergines).

You can find the cook book on Amazon for £26.88 and so far the reviews seem to be coming in good, for the most part.

IBM To Create MMORPG Based On Sword Art Online

There are many kinds of people in the world, some who will finish the day with a drink, some will finish it with a movie, some even a game but for some there is nothing like losing yourself in a good anime. One of the largest animes in 2015 was created from a light novel written in Japan, titled Sword Art Online. The game follows a series of players who become trapped in a video game, with their very lives at risk from the monsters and players that gamers shrug off with each respawn in games. Now it would seem that the game has attracted the attention of IBM, who want to create an online game from the series.

MMORPG’s (Massively multiplayer online role-playing games) were made famous by the likes of World Of Warcraft and have been featured in a range of manga and anime’s in recent years. The name that is currently being thrown about by IBM’s Japanese branch is Sword Art Online: The Beginning and will be (much like in the series) a virtual reality game.

While many will be thinking that this is clearly a gimmick to create a game based on a game from a manga, the game has already titled at least one unique feature. The twist that is currently being advertised is that players will be scanned to create a 3D model that will become their avatars in-game, talk about putting yourself in the action!

Alongside a VR headset, the game looks to include motion capture technology to drag players into the battles. The promotional video for the game so far shows more design elements from the game and clips from the anime but you can see where they are going with the video.

If that wasn’t enough for you, the game is starting a closed beta in Japan for 208 lucky gamers next month and will be powered by none other than Watson, IMB’s natural language, and machine learning platform.

IBM Wants To Teach Robots Some Social Skills

The exploration and development of Artificial intelligence is a boundary which is consistently being pushed, the scientific and academic communities are furthering their studies into robotic interactions in many different directions. One such path is focusing on IBM and their efforts to incorporate “machine learning to teach robots social skills like gestures, eye movements, and voice intonations” through the Watson Project.

During a keynote speech at a conference held in San Jose, California, this week, Robert High, chief technology officer of Watson at IBM, conveyed techniques his team are working on using a small humanoid robot. During demonstrations the machine, a Nao model from the company Aldebaran, appeared to successfully speak with realistic intonation. According to Oxford dictionaries, “Intonation” is defined as “The rise and fall of the voice when speaking” The robot also achieved appropriate hand gestures, a little impatience and sarcasm which included looking at its watch, for example, when asking High to hurry up with his talk.

Unfortunately, these interactions were pre recorded and not conveyed live on stage, this was down to the system’s failings in successfully working in noisy environments. The team behind the R&D have implemented machine-learning algorithms which learn from video footage with the aim to associate appropriate gestures and intonations with different phrases.

Artificial Intelligence is viewed as a soulless entity which is mechanical, it cannot be related to in any way, we humans on the other hand use subtle cues when we communicate with each other, our voices change pitch and our hands reinforce our points of view, muscles in our faces react to a conversation or a feeling of emotion. If you could download social skills into a robot, you would have a more believable form which tricks our brains into identifying a believable norm. This research is still in its early stages; one has to wonder where robots will be in 10, 20, 50 years time?. Will there become a situation in my life time whereby a debate would centre on a legal definition of an acceptance of a robot being classified as he/she.

It makes you contemplate the lengths to which AI development can reach and the implications on us.

Thank you technologyreview for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of aldebaran

Access IBM’s Watson Supercomputer for Free

IBM has opened up its Watson supercomputing platform to everybody for free. The decision to open up a public beta for the data analytics platform means that we now all have partial access to a supercomputer, anytime, anywhere.

Using what is described as “the most powerful natural-language supercomputer in the world”, you can upload a dataset and let Watson analyse it all in incredibly accurate detail – producing correlations, predictive analyses, graphs, charts and even infographics that represent your data.

It’s a very interesting concept and is probably the first time anybody and everybody has been able to access a supercomputer for free. You can access Watson at IBM’s website here, where you will be required to set up a free account.

I know what some of you are wondering. Can it run Crysis?

Source: Gizmodo

Stephen Hawking Warns Of An A.I. Controlled Future

Advances in AI technology are all around us, Google have their Google Now service, Apple have Siri, Microsoft have Cortana and that’s just the world of mobile phone technology and search engines! Beyond that we have self driving cars,  supercomputers such as the Jeopardy winning Watson and more. These are great technologies in many ways, but legendary theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, as well a few other leading scientists such as Stuart Russell, Max Tegmar and Frank Wilczek have giving their opinion on the world of AI.

They warned that the race to create advanced AI may not be a great idea, “”The potential benefits are huge. Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history.” they said, “unfortunately, it might also be the last” they added. They went on to discuss that while we do have the technology to begin creating computers that are more powerful than the human brain, it may not be a good idea to do so. When AI gets so intelligent that it can start improving independently, then we may run into issues.

“One can imagine such technology outsmarting financial markets, out-inventing human researchers, out-manipulating human leaders and developing weapons we cannot even understand,” the scientists write. “Whereas the short-term impact of AI depends on who controls it, the long-term impact depends on whether it can be controlled at all.”

They added that there are several organizations doing research on this subject to help learn and avoid the risks involved, but will anyone heed their advice? It all sounds a little like Skynet from Terminator, or countless other science fiction stories, but the fact is, our technological advancement really is heading in that direction.

Thank you TechRader for providing us with this information.