Just when you thought when robots have already taken every menial task a human could possibly occupy, now comes this astounding piece of news from Japan (of course!)
Researchers have designed a robot that can taste — an electromechanical sommelier able to identify dozens of different wines, cheeses and hors d’oeuvres. “All foods have a unique fingerprint,” Shimazu said. “The robot uses that data to identify what it is inspecting right there on the spot.” When it has identified a wine, the robot speaks up in a childlike voice. It names the brand and adds a comment or two on the taste, such as whether it is a buttery chardonnay or a full-bodied shiraz, and what kind of foods might go well on the side. The robots could be “personalized,” or programmed to recognize the kinds of wines its owner prefers and recommend new varieties to fit its owner’s taste. Because it is analyzing the chemical composition of the wine or food placed before it, it can also alert its owner to possible health issues, gently warning against fatty or salty products.
Now I am not sure about you, but this makes me just a bit anxious. What else can robots detect? Are we phasing our human selves out of being essential in these gourmet areas? Do robots work more economically than mankind? Are we coming up with truly useful inventions or are these type of things just so much “frou frou”? and, of course, why don’t I have one to help me in my kitchen at home?
Damned interesting business in this article .. read it and mull it over a bit while reaching your own conclusions … or have your robot share its conclusions with you … they do think now, don’t they?
Melissa Goodman reporting …