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IBM and Bon Appétit Serve Up Chef Watson for All

Web app is a showcase for how cognitive computing can be used for discovery every day

NEW YORK - 23 Jun 2015: IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Bon Appétit today announced that their one-of-a-kind Chef Watson cognitive computing cooking app is now open to anyone interested in expanding his or her imagination in the kitchen. The web app is one of many ways that IBM is demonstrating how cognitive computing systems can help amplify human creativity.

Created through a collaboration with Bon Appétit, the app inspires home cooks everywhere to discover unexpected flavor combinations to address everyday mealtime challenges in creative ways and bring new ideas to the kitchen.

Aimed at adventurous cooks, the free Watson-powered app includes knowledge gained from training Watson to understand 10,000 recipes from the Bon Appétit database, in addition to how ingredients are used in different dishes and cooking styles. IBM has combined this information with what the system knows about food chemistry and human taste preferences, and has also integrated the valuable input shared by users who participated in the beta.

With quintillions of possible ingredient pairings available at their fingertips, the app is designed to provide cooks with an everyday tool for discovering unique flavor profiles that are changing the way they think about food and cooking. Conditions such as Celiac disease, allergies or sensitivities to foods like nuts or dairy, or lifestyle choices such as vegetarian or vegan, can frustrate people’s attempts at creativity in the kitchen.  Chef Watson can help people deal with dietary restrictions by allowing them to exclude specific ingredients, enabling people to inspire their culinary imaginations no matter what diet they follow.

“We’ve been impressed by the creative ideas users have discovered so far - to see not only what dishes they were making, but what common food problems they were solving with the help of Watson,” says Stacey C. Rivera, Digital Director, Bon Appétit. “From cutting out gluten to limiting the amount of waste in their kitchen, the Chef Watson app proves: If you give cooks a tool to help them be creative in the kitchen, they will be.”

“Watson’s strength is finding patterns and relationships hidden among data, providing people with a jumping off point to explore ideas that may never have been considered before,” says Dr. Steve Abrams, Distinguished Engineer & Director, IBM Watson. “The application of Watson in the culinary arts illustrates how smart machines can help people make discoveries. These technologies are being adopted not only by cooking lovers, but professionals in other industries ranging from life sciences to fashion to explore new ideas.”

Over the last year IBM and Bon Appétit have also evolved the app’s design based on how users wanted to collaborate with Chef Watson as part of their creative process. Today, people can start to discover new flavor profiles with as little as one ingredient. Based on that input, Chef Watson suggests three other ingredients that it predicts go well together. Chef Watson brings these flavor inspirations a step closer to the table by suggesting dish ideas, ingredient amounts, and preparation steps that serve as a starting point for the cook to customize, try in the kitchen, and share with friends.

Available in beta until today, the app has been used by several thousand accomplished home cooks who have helped to expand Watson’s knowledge. This was accomplished in a variety of ways including sharing feedback on recipes and how best to interact with the app. The beta users also discovered new, meaningful uses for the tool including how to create tasty meals that exclude or substitute key ingredients based on health or dietary choices; reduce food waste by creating dishes around unused ingredients; exploit local or seasonal ingredients to maximize a sustainable farm to table concept; and even teach children about creativity and healthy eating.

Anyone can experience the free IBM Chef Watson with Bon Appétit web app at www.ibmchefwatson.com - and here are a few stories from Chef Watson users about what they’re discovering with Watson in their kitchens today http://ibm.co/1LfvKJH

IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing

Watson is the first commercially available cognitive computing capability representing a new era in computing. The system, delivered through the cloud, analyzes high volumes of data, understands complex questions posed in natural language, and proposes evidence-based answers. Watson continuously learns, gaining in value and knowledge over time, from previous interactions.

IBM Watson continues to foster a growing ecosystem of developers, students, entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts worldwide by placing the power of cognitive computing in their hands via more than 20 Watson services available on the Watson Developer Cloud, allowing them to discover, explore and create an entirely new class of apps and businesses fueled by Watson.  Across industries and specialties, IBM and its more than 280 commercial partners, along with tens of thousands of tech enthusiasts, are working together as part of the Watson Ecosystem to make cognitive computing systems the new computing standard.

IBM continues to build on its strengths in cognitive computing, analytics, security and cloud with IBM Watson Health and the Watson Health Cloud platform. This unit is helping improve the ability of doctors, researchers, health plans and individuals to innovate by surfacing new insights from the massive amounts of personal health data being created daily. The Watson Health Cloud allows this information to be anonymized, shared and combined with a dynamic and constantly growing aggregated view of clinical, research and social health data.

About IBM

For more information on IBM Watson, visit: ibm.com/watson. For more information on IBM Watson Health, visit: ibm.com/watsonhealth

Check out the IBM Chef Watson press kit at:
http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/presskit/46500.wss and the IBM Watson press kit at: http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/presskit/27297.wss.

Join the conversation at #ibmwatson. #chefwatson and #ibmwatsonhealth. Follow Watson on Facebook and see Watson on YouTube and Flickr.   

About Bon Appétit

Bon Appétit is where food and culture meet. The award-winning No. 1 food lifestyle brand covers food through the lens of cooking, fashion, travel, technology, design, and home. Under editor in chief Adam Rapoport, the brand has been nominated for 18 National Magazine Awards, including wins in 2014 for General Excellence & Photography, and Best Cover in the "Most Delicious" Category in 2015; 14 James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards; and more than 50 Society of Publication Designers (SPD) nominations including 12 wins for 2015 alone, including Design Entire Issue (June & November 2014) and Website of the year. Under Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer Pamela Drucker Mann, the magazine was named the Advertising Age A-List Magazine of the Year in 2013 and “One to Watch” in 2014, and has been Adweek’s Food Magazine of the Year in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

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Following their collaboration a year ago to develop a cognitive computing cooking app and test it with home cooks as part of a beta program, IBM and Bon Appetit have opened up the web app to anyone interested in expanding his or her imagination in the kitchen. The app is built with knowledge gained from training Watson to understand the 10,000 recipes from the Bon Appétit database, what it has learned about food chemistry and human taste preferences, and it also integrates the valuable input shared by users who participated in the beta. Over the last year IBM and Bon Appétit have also evolved the app’s design based on how users wanted to collaborate with Chef Watson as part of their creative process. Today, people can start to discover new flavor profiles with as little as one ingredient. Based on that input, Chef Watson suggests three other ingredients that it predicts go well together. Chef Watson brings these flavor inspirations a step closer to the table by suggesting dish ideas, ingredient amounts, and preparation steps that serve as a starting point for the cook to customize, try in the kitchen, and share with friends. (Credit: IBM)

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