We’re One Step Closer To Computer-Made Pizza

Pizza chefs may soon be replaced by robots. Is this a good thing? 

Artificial intelligence (AI) can learn how a pizza is assembled. Here’s why that matters

By Rachel Metz,

CNN Business – Even a toddler can figure out the right way to put together a pizza: you roll out the dough, add some sauce, sprinkle on cheese, put the toppings on, then pop the whole thing in the oven.

It’s a much trickier task for a computer to grasp, however. How does it know what to do first? Whether cheese should go on before or after sauce? Is there a right way to arrange toppings? And what about that whole baking thing?

Researchers at MIT and the Qatar Computing Research Institute set out to answer these questions with a recent project in which they taught artificial intelligence to, well, not exactly make a pizza but, more precisely, figure out the order in which it should be constructed.

Essentially, the researchers built an AI system that can look at a photo of pizza and deduce what ingredients should go on which layer of the pie.

The researchers presented a paper on their work last week at an AI conference in Long Beach, California. What They Put In Pizza That Makes It So Addictive

It might sound silly, but there’s a bigger point than creating AI that knows whether pepperoni should be placed on top of cheese.

Computers can already learn how to identify specific objects in images, but when some of those objects are partially hidden (say, arugula laid atop prosciutto), it gets harder for them to figure out what they’re looking at.

And with food, which often has many different layers (think a lattice-topped pie or a salad), it can be particularly tricky for a computer to figure out what should go where.

To see a picture and say it’s a pizza is easy. To be able to break it down into its various parts and reassemble it is a bit closer to understanding. World’s Most Popular Health Food – It Even Makes Pizza Healthy

Dimitrios Papadopoulos, a postdoctoral researcher at MIT who led the project, told CNN Business that if a computer can determine the essential ingredients and how they should be layered on a pizza, for instance, it may be more easily able to figure out the various parts of other kinds of food images, too.

“Food is a big aspect of our lives, and also cooking, so we wanted to have a model that could understand food in general,” Papadopoulos said. Read more.