Sony is hoping that the AI research carried out at their new Sony AI branch, will lead to robotic kitchen helpers who would be able to prepare meals for elderly people at home. It could also transform the way we all eat, whether at home or in the restaurant.
In a video released by the company, we are shown what their vision for the future of eating looks like. Robotic kitchen helpers prepare food in a kitchen leaving the elderly hosts free to welcome their guests and enjoy their evening. A couple is served by robot arms, food that is prepared, cooked and plated by automatic machines.
It may look far-fetched but Sony believes that the future of cooking and eating will be machine-enabled, freeing people up to focus more on human connections.
The venture, named Sony AI will have offices in Japan, the U.S. and Europe, initially launching projects in gaming, imaging and sensing and “gastronomy”.
The company announced in a statement recently “adoption of new AI technologies developed through these flagship projects will be critical to further enhancing the value of Sony’s gaming and sensor businesses in coming years.”
Sony has already made moves into the world of gastronomy with a 2018 partnership between Sony Corporation of America and Carnegie Mellon University to work on artificial intelligence and robotics research.
At the time, Sony said “initial research and development” would look into “optimizing food preparation, cooking and delivery.”
A video released by the company gives a glimpse of how their research aims to change the way people cook and eat.
"The field of food requires a study of molecular structures. By using AI and its analytical capacity we can create new things," said Sony spokesman Shinichi Tobe said.
"It involves taste but also aroma. Through sensing technologies, we can perhaps create new dishes that will please the human sense of taste."
"The field of food requires a study of molecular structures. By using AI and its analytical capacity we can create new things," Tobe said.
It is believed that gastronomy represents good potential for early AI research with potential easy wins and commercial return for the food and tech industry. This year IBM partnered with seasoning-maker McCormick to use AI in flavour and food product development.
"There might be ways of cooking that can only be done by robotics. It might be about temperature control. Maybe about precise timings of when or where to apply heat," Tobe said.