Can artificial intelligence create a decent dinner?
It is the night before the weekly shop. I look in the fridge and consider my three tomatoes, the sweet potato, and the asparagus.
Normally, I’d take this as my cue to nip to the fish and chip shop.
However, I’m trying out Plant Jammer, an app that promises to rustle up a recipe based on whatever food you have lying around, using artificial intelligence.
It searches three million recipes to find often-paired items. It then consults a library of ingredients that the company has hired professional chefs to group by flavor - salt, umami, sour, oil, crunch, soft, sweet, bitter, spicy, fresh, and aroma.
Finally, the software learns from this data and devises new recipes.
Michael Haase, the founder of Plant Jammer, says this last step is what makes his app unique.
Traditional recipe apps are powered by databases - you list what you have in the fridge and the app sends a pre-existing recipe it found on the web.
"That is the old way," says Mr. Haase. "We are actually constructing new recipes from scratch each time with an AI [artificial intelligence]. This is going to be the future."
Plant Jammer is one of a handful of recipe apps, food distributors, and even events companies that are turning to artificial intelligence to gain an edge in the food industry.