Frichtis or gastro restaurants: will AI change the way we consume?

Nothing in the fridge, just leftovers, or no inspiration to cook? No problem, just use one of the consumer software programs using artificial intelligence found everywhere on the Internet. To write this article, we asked ChefGPT to provide a savory recipe using simple, seasonal ingredients. Selected ingredients: eggplant, tomatoes, beef, eggs, garlic. Equipment: oven and baking trays. Cuisine level: fair. Result delivered in less than a minute: beef and eggplant stir-fry. No recipe photo, but attractive proportions and unfolding, and above all a considerable saving of time.

The machine offers you dozens of recipes in less than three minutes.

No more time-consuming searches on the Web or in cookbooks to find THE recipe. ChefTouski, a Quebec AI platform, offers to create tailor-made recipes from ingredients that will soon expire at home. Greenwashing atmosphere and fight against food waste. Same operation as ChefGPT and equally stunning results. In the United States, since 2021, many chefs have been using FlavorGraph, a tool developed by the Japanese company Sony to develop recipes combining deliciousness, health and sustainability. The principle is simple, the chef transmits the constraints to be respected: vegan, organic, gluten-free, lactose-free, food allergies… and the machine offers you dozens of recipes in less than three minutes.

FlavorGraph is based on data from 1,561 flavor molecules and a million recipes, we can read on the Sony website, which is working in parallel on the development of holograms of chefs capable of making the recipes live. More than 100% tailor-made, we could soon watch the live execution of the recipe by a fictitious human. Dizzy. For Dr Laurent Alexandre, AI specialist in France, personalizing cuisine according to our preferences is just one stage of the revolution underway in the world of gastronomy. “The development of dishes based on the neuro-psychological characteristics of individuals will represent a large market from 2025. Chefs will cook based on the cognitive structure of their customers and robotize their way of proceeding. They will no longer be responsible for forming a team of apprentices and will be able to concentrate only on noble tasks. » A cuisine that is both dehumanized and much more attentive to the pleasure of the guests.

Shared opinions

The author of the book “The War of Intelligence” (ed. JC Lattès) pushes the envelope: “Freed from the entire transmission and learning part, the great chef of 2035 will even be able to merge his cuisine with other arts, notably music , painting and inventing incredible harmonies! » The advent of this new world could take place sooner than expected. According to him, the fusion of artificial intelligence and robotics is already underway. Enough to ask questions. What value should be given to a dish created by AI? How much credit can be given to a restaurant review from AI? Can a robot have empathy? Very legitimate questions today given the imprecision of current applications and software.

For Chloé Charles, a self-employed Parisian chef, it is unthinkable to entrust a serious culinary task to AI today. “I once asked ChefGPT to create a tasting menu for me in several stages. I got a precise menu, certainly, but without soul and above all so out of date! The funniest thing, melon balls with port. Hello 1980s! she laments. For the administrative part, pay slips, calculation of social charges, AI is of great help to us. As for pure butter cooking, for the moment, we don’t take it seriously. » On closer inspection, it is true that our recipe for beef and eggplant stir-fry was missing crucial information: what piece of beef? what time to cook eggplants?

By 2040, chefs who know how to use AI tools will have no qualms about using them

Guy Savoy, starred chef in Paris, sees AI favorably: “It has made our lives easier and considerably increased our ability to create without stepping on the brigade’s toes. When it was invented in 1946, the microwave simplified the lives of housewives and cooks, but it was not systematized. We didn’t just start cooking in the microwave. » The cook then unfolds his speech with disconcerting serenity: “In cooking, you have to constantly adapt. Turbot never has the same thickness, carrots never have the same size, nothing is perfect. Our jobs require skills of observation, improvisation and spontaneity. Many human qualities that the machine does not have, as well as a notion of the unexpected that it will not be able to anticipate. » For him, AI will only be a “modern-day microwave”, a member of the team who is given specific tasks.

Down to earth, the chef nevertheless anticipates a prohibitive principle: that of mastering the codes, that is to say knowing how to correctly transmit information to a machine. This is one of the fundamental limitations of AI, without which the results are imperfect, even laughable. You have to know how to “prompt”. Translation: describe a query with extremely precise words to best fit the algorithm. For Laurent Alexandre, this new verb, coming straight from the tech jargon of Silicon Valley, alone represents “the immense cognitive inequality of the 21st century”. According to the doctor, the world will soon be divided between those who know how to prompt and those who don’t. “By 2040, managers who know how to use AI tools will have no qualms about using them to the detriment of staff who must be declared and remunerated. They will favor intelligent robotics and rationalize human and financial costs. » A catastrophic vision which nevertheless raises the question of the supervision of AI. Since 2018, nearly 1.5 billion euros has already been invested by the French government in its “national strategy for AI”, but without any draft law to regulate social abuses.

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