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New Opportunities in "Cooking" with AI and Robotics

The vegetables are being cut, the meat is grilled, and the food is being made.
On the background of the image of colorful cuisine, Opening title, "Sony's Innovations & Challenges", "Stories", and the subtitle, "New Opportunities in "Cooking" with AI and Robotics" is displayed.

Masahiro Fujita, Senior Chief Researcher, VP of AI Collaboration Office in Sony Corporation
is being interviewed at the kitchen counter.

"When considering the application of AI and robotics,
cooking was chosen since it is a field full of technological challenges.
Physical work carried out by robots is one key to this project.
We firstly selected Carnegie Mellon University in the US."

The image of "Carnegie Mellon University vs University of New South Wales",
RoboCup 2001 Sony Legged Robot League Final which took place in Seattle, is displayed.

"We already had a relationship with the university since a robot project called AIBO.
Working with them helped us solve our problems using the latest technology."

The image of future kitchen using AI technology is displayed.
A plain white table transforms into a kitchen style, and robot arms come out.
The Man cooks using ingredients which is prepared by robot arms.

"I thought that visualizing the concept would be extremely effective in sharing the concept with everyone.
Therefore, we talked about creating this concept video."

Mitsuo Okumura, Senior Art Director of Creative Center in Sony Corporation
Involved in UX design of Sony products.
Created scenarios for the concept video.
Enjoys cooking as a hobby.

Naoya Higuchi, Food Writer, and Chef
In addition to being published in magazines "Ku:nel" and "cakes",
he continues his activities as a writer, observing food cultures of different regions.
In charge of the cooking production of the concept video.

Okumura and Higuchi are talking at the dining table.

"For this concept video, I wanted to maximize the process of creation,
emphasizing humans and robotics working together."
Cooperation of human and robotics
"Experiencing the fun part, people can understand how much fun cooking can be."

A spatula-shaped robot arm applies cream evenly around the cake,
and the child is doing the last decoration of putting the topping of fruits and etc.
Whole family is looking happily at a cake.
Besides them, there is a side table type robot carrying champagne glass.

"When you think of the joy of cooking, it comes down to the experience
that can be shared at the dining table."
"In this way, AI and robotics can make some favorable contributions."

The image of two robots are displayed.
A robot that slices violet cabbage thinly, and a cylindrical robot that can spray oil onto croquette with crumbs and fry it in an instant.

"Humans and robots can help each other out.
I think such future is just about to come.
Robotic gastronomy is what we call our long term vision.
When looking at each components of meals such as ingredients, taste and aroma,
these questions can come up: what kind of molecular structure does the taste have?
and how would taste and aroma be harmonized?"

Kaoru Yoshida, Ph.D., Associate Researcher of Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc.
Conducts research focused on nutrition and health,
taking a multidisciplinary approach ranging from computer science,
biology and chemistry and integrating knowledge from the East and the West.

"Cooking is a potential field for sensory science.
Not only vision through the eyes but also sound, taste and aroma through the ears,
mouth and nose are involved.
There also is temperature sensed through touch.
Application of various types of sensing technology will make it extremely interesting.
Food is essential for a healthy body and mind."
Integrating the senses with nutrition and health
"We think food and medicine are continuous, not separate issues."

Okumura and Higuchi are cooking, and there are various seasonings lined up on the table.

Art-like dishes are being made by chefs in the restaurant kitchen.
Photography in cooperation with Celaravird.

"Chefs are creators and artists.
As Sony holds experience in enhancing such ideas and producing it well,
there are expectations in Sony to provide support for chefs who act as creators."

François Chartier, Créateur d‘Harmonies/Sommelier
Pairing of food and wine with aromatic molecules,
the science of "Moleculare Harmony and Sommellerie" was founded in 2004.
The book of aroma pairing science, "Taste buds and Molecules" is a world's best seller.

"I'm sure it will generate and create new ideas.
AI will be able to put all that together, mixing molecules because of the shape, because of the look,
so maybe this match of molecules will create a new flavor that we have never thought of.
Basically chefs don't need a robot to cook, but they need different tools.
They have many tools in the kitchen.
Many new tools, new techniques."
"So for me, robotics is just a tool, but it's powerful, just another tool, but that will open many doors.
Or it just will be the partner of the chef and restaurant and help him,
and to challenge and bring the cuisine to a new level."

Robot arms are extended from the table transformed into a kitchen type.
They are playing each roles.
An arm always cutting to the same thinness, an arm which removes dangerous things,
and an arm doing dish washing and etc.
People are surprised and enjoy the beauty of cooked food.

Stimulate creativity
"And that's the case with Sony."
"Artists use their creativity.
This can lead to a new relationship between humans and machines in the range of med-to-long term."

At the unmanned counter, the robot arm is making and serving fine restaurant-like dishes one after another.

"Our goal is to be the world's first Michelin recognized 3-star robotics restaurant.
We provide "cooking as entertainment".
I believe this type of initiative is exactly what Sony specializes in."

Movie ends with Sony's logo