The start of AI in baking
In 2018, a team at Google wanted to use AI to design the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. First, the AI was provided with the inputs of flour, chocolate, vanilla, so on and so forth. After researchers tested each AI-produced recipe, they gave it a numerical rating and the system utilized the feedback to recalibrate the specifics. This was carried out repeatedly, and soon trial-and-improvement became evident.
Once the AI had formulated a basic cookie, the team tested the AI further by adding wacky ingredients: cardamom and szechuan pepper! After 50+ recipe alterations, the AI finally produced the perfect recipe named ‘The Chocolate Chip and Cardamom Cookie’.
Three years later, Google came back with new AI bakery inventions. They created hybrid treats called the ‘Breakie’ and the ‘Cakie’, a project inspired by the profusion of searches for baking caused by the pandemic.
What exactly is a Breakie and a Cakie then? A Breakie merges the concept of a cookie and fluffy bread, almost creating a muffin-like texture. Whereas, a Cakie merges a spongy cake and a cookie’s crispiness.
How did these inventions come to life?
The process entailed the categorisation of 700 recipes by AutoML Tables, effectively predicting the type of baked good the recipe produced. As some recipes comprised ingredient ratios in multiple categories i.e. 97% bread, 2% cake, and 1% cookie, the team conjured an idea. What if the model could make its own recipe? This culminated in the Cakie – 50% cookie and 50% cake. And by tweaking this recipe further through addition of cinnamon and chocolate chips, the breakie was made! Check out the recipes here:
In a nutshell, Google’s AI baker has shown immense advancements over the years. From previously learning how to make a simple cookie, to combining the best of multiple baked goods into one, the AI’s future possibilities seem endless. So, what will the AI baker create next?
Written by Amanda Y