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From Robot Waiters To DNA-Based Menus, Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) Is Revolutionizing The Food Industry

Imagine walking into a restaurant and being greeted by a screen that instantly customizes your menu based on your dining preferences and group size. This futuristic experience is not just a dream, it’s becoming a reality with the application of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) in the food industry. From optimizing kitchen processes to transforming the diner’s experience, A.I. is changing the way how we interact with food.

A.I. Transforming Kitchen Operations

A.I. is streamlining kitchen operations and enhancing efficiency in ways never seen before. Tasks that were once cumbersome and time-consuming are now automated, allowing chefs to focus on their culinary creativity. Voice recognition technology has replaced manual inventory management, enabling real-time tracking & automatic adjustments to inventory levels. This not only saves time but also reduces the risk of overstocking or running out of crucial ingredients.

Moreover, A.I. is playing a pivotal role in dynamic pricing strategies used in restaurants. By analyzing supply & demand patterns, A.I. algorithms adjust menu prices in real-time to optimize revenue during peak hours or busy seasons. Restaurants can offer different menus or prioritize faster-to-prepare dishes, enhancing both customer experience and profitability.

A.I. Personalized Dining Experience

Artificial Intelligence is not just limited to the kitchen; it’s also enriching the customer’s dining experience. Personalization is a key aspect of AI in food, with some establishments tailoring their menus to individual genetic profiles. Through DNA, microbiota, or blood tests, A.I. can design special diets & nutritional supplements that cater to specific health needs. This level of customization is particularly valuable for individuals with allergies, intolerances, or dietary restrictions.

In a groundbreaking project, LaBe Restaurant in San Sebastian, Spain, used scientifically validated genetic tests to develop personalized menus for its diners based on their DNA. These reports not only enhanced the culinary experience but also provided valuable insights into sports performance, aging & food-related sensitivities.

The application of Artificial Intelligence in the kitchen in an image provided by LABe Restaurant in San Sebastian, Spain.

The application of A.I. in the kitchen – Image by LABe Restaurant in San Sebastian, Spain.

Privacy & Perception of A.I. in Food

While AI brings exciting possibilities, it has also sparked a debate around privacy and data usage. Some customers embrace personalized attention, while others fear the intrusion of their privacy. Experts argue that AI-driven interactions are non-invasive and that people rarely notice how they are affected. As A.I. becomes more prevalent, personalized interactions may become the new norm, reshaping the dining experience.

Smart Restaurants & AI-Powered Innovations

Restaurants are embracing AI-powered innovations to optimize their operations and enhance customer satisfaction. Smart restaurants like NÜA in Barcelona offer interactive tables with touch screens, allowing customers to browse menus, place orders, and even play games or watch news while they dine. Robots equipped with A.I. are also making their way into the dining experience, efficiently delivering orders to tables and continuously learning to improve their performance.

Startups like Vibertron have developed custom integrated platforms and technologies enabling better expense management for businesses, and enhanced customer experience. Even the creation of recipes is becoming an AI-driven process, as demonstrated by Can Pizza, which developed a unique pizza recipe using A.I. algorithms.

The Future of A.I. in Food Industry

AI’s primary goal in the food industry is to optimize time, effort, and resources. It has the potential to revolutionize restaurant operations, making them more efficient and cost-effective. While AI won’t replace human chefs, it will undoubtedly streamline processes, allowing them to focus on creativity and innovation. Moreover, with the power to personalize dining experiences, AI is ushering in a new era of gastronomy—one where food is not just nourishment but also a unique and tailor-made experience for each individual.

The incorporation of AI in the food industry is still in its early stages, but its potential is vast. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect A.I. to play an increasingly significant role in reshaping the way we dine, interact with food, and experience culinary delights like never before.

The fusion of technology and gastronomy promises an exciting journey of innovation and transformation, offering a taste of what the future holds for the world of food applications and FoodTech.

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— By Clint Bailey (Voice of EU) & Johnathan Elf (Vibertron)

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Welcome back, Samuel Beckett | Culture

The 20th century brought us Stalin, Mao, two world wars, the Holocaust, atomic bombs and a couple more carnages that I would rather not recall. Several million people died as a result, according to the most conservative calculations. Logically, the soul of Europeans was shaken, and it is admirable that we have survived as a species. A Martian would have expected us to commit suicide once and for all with a big nuclear bash.

The battered world conscience led to several new outcomes in terms of human representation. Living with the constant threat of extinction affected artists, who are the ones that truly represent us and not politicians. So the artists began to represent us as they saw us: strange, deformed, shapeless, anomalous, invisible, crippled, stuttering, or simply mute.

We have been more temperate for several years now, and it seems that we are now able to analyze that past, which was called “the avant-garde,” with some calm. Not everywhere, of course, but it is possible in a West that is fading, but which is no longer massacring its slaves. And the effect that this awareness of destruction had on literature was the emergence of a group of immense writers who could no longer represent humans in a luminous and heroic way, so to speak. However, it would be a very bad idea to leave them for dead. Joyce, Proust, Kafka, Faulkner, Bernhard, Manganelli, Benet, Rulfo — throughout the West, a literature took shape during the 20th century in which only the bare form remained with a capacity to simply be. And one of its main writers was Samuel Beckett.

It is a source of joy that this difficult, harsh, dark, but wise literature’s ability to fascinate, moralize and illuminate us has not run dry. And reading these artists is a very convenient way to understand that everything could go dark at any moment. I am currently celebrating the release of a new Spanish translation of Watt, Beckett’s last novel in English, by an affordable publishing house that can reach many students (Cátedra).

The story behind this novel is another novel in itself, well told by the translator José Francisco Fernández in his extensive foreword to the new Spanish version. Beckett wrote it while fleeing from one hideout to another as a member of the Resistance, pursued by the Nazis who were occupying France. In those absurd conditions, Beckett carried his notebooks, in which he was writing and annotating what would finally become the novel Watt, which is the name of the main character, who is as non-existent as Godot, the most famous of Beckett’s characters. Watt has a partner, Mr. Knott, whom he serves in a parody of the old novels of masters and servants that have been immortalized thanks to television series like Upstairs, Downstairs.

Rejected by the publishing world

Although he finished it in 1945, Watt was not published until 1953 after being rejected by almost all English and American publishers, who were very reluctant to recognize that this convulsive and sarcastic prose was a faithful portrait of 20th-century civilization. And once it was published it barely made an impact. It was not until 1968 (what a year!), when it was published in French by the Minuit publishing house, in the author’s version and with the help of the Janvier couple, that enthusiasm for the novel would begin to get some traction. The French powers-that-be recognized themselves in the portrait of the warped, disintegrated human race, described with a lacerating irony that the Irishman created out of nothing.

There were other effects that fascinated those who dominated literary opinion at the time. One of them was the obvious caricature of Descartes, a philosopher whom Beckett always counted among his favorites, and the reference to whom was immediately picked up by the masters of structuralism and deconstruction.

Welcome back, then, to our Beckett, a precise portraitist of terrifying years that could return at any moment.

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The Hat Worn By Napoleon Bonaparte Sold For $2.1 Million At The Auction

A faded felt bicorne hat worn by Napoleon Bonaparte sold for $2.1 million at an auction on of the French emperor’s belongings.

Yes, that’s $2.1 million!!

The signature broad, black hat, one of a handful still in existence that Napoleon wore when he ruled 19th-century France and waged war in Europe, was initially valued at 600,000 to 800,000 euros ($650,000-870,000). It was the centerpiece of Sunday’s auction collected by a French industrialist who died last year.

The Hat Worn By Napoleon Bonaparte Sold For $2.1 Million At The Auction

But the bidding quickly jumped higher and higher until Jean Pierre Osenat, president of the Osenat auction house, designated the winner.

‘’We are at 1.5 million (Euros) for Napoleon’s hat … for this major symbol of the Napoleonic epoch,” he said, as applause rang out in the auction hall. The buyer, whose identity was not released, must pay 28.8% in commissions according to Osenat, bringing the overall cost to 1.9 million euros ($2.1 million).

While other officers customarily wore their bicorne hats with the wings facing front to back, Napoleon wore his with the ends pointing toward his shoulders. The style, known as “en bataille,” or in battle, made it easier for his troops to spot their leader in combat.

The hat on sale was first recovered by Col. Pierre Baillon, a quartermaster under Napoleon, according to the auctioneers. The hat then passed through many hands before industrialist Jean-Louis Noisiez acquired it.

The entrepreneur spent more than a half-century assembling his collection of Napoleonic memorabilia, firearms, swords and coins before his death in 2022.

The sale came days before the release of Ridley Scott’s film Napoleon with Joaquin Phoenix, which is rekindling interest in the controversial French ruler.

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The Call for AI Regulation in Creative Industries

THE VOICE OF EU | Widespread concerns have surged among artists and creatives in various domains – country singers, authors, television showrunners, and musicians – voicing apprehension about the disruptive impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on their professions.

These worries have prompted an urgent plea to the U.S. government for regulatory action to protect their livelihoods from the encroaching threat posed by AI technology.

The Artists’ Plea

A notable rise in appeals to regulate AI has emerged, drawing attention to the potential risks AI poses to creative industries.

Thousands of letters, including those from renowned personalities like Justine Bateman and Lilla Zuckerman, underscore the peril AI models represent to the traditional structure of entertainment businesses.

The alarm extends to the music industry, expressed by acclaimed songwriter Marc Beeson, highlighting AI’s potential to both enhance and jeopardize an essential facet of American artistry.

The Call for AI Regulation in Creative Industries

Copyright Infringement Concerns

The primary contention arises from the unsanctioned use of copyrighted human works as fodder to train AI systems. The concerns about AI ingesting content from the internet without permission or compensation have sparked significant distress among artists and their representative entities.

While copyright laws explicitly protect works of human authorship, the influx of AI-generated content questions the boundaries of human contribution and authorship in an AI-influenced creative process.

The Fair Use Debate

Leading technology entities like Google, Microsoft, and Meta Platforms argue that their utilization of copyrighted materials in AI training aligns with the “fair use” doctrine—a limited use of copyrighted material for transformative purposes.

They claim that AI training isn’t aimed at reproducing individual works but rather discerning patterns across a vast corpus of content, citing precedents like Google’s legal victories in the digitization of books.

The Conflict and Seeking Resolution

Despite court rulings favoring tech companies in interpreting copyright laws regarding AI, voices like Heidi Bond, a former law professor and author, critique this comparison, emphasizing that AI developers often obtain content through unauthorized means.

Shira Perlmutter, the U.S. Register of Copyrights, acknowledges the Copyright Office’s pivotal role in navigating this complex landscape and determining the legitimacy of the fair use defense in the AI context.

The Road Ahead

The outpouring of concern from creative professionals and industry stakeholders emphasizes the urgency for regulatory frameworks to safeguard creative works while acknowledging the evolving role of AI in content creation.

The Copyright Office’s meticulous review of over 9,700 public comments seeks to strike a balance between innovation and the protection of creative rights in an AI-driven era. As the discussion continues, the convergence of legal precedents and ethical considerations remains a focal point for shaping the future landscape of AI in creative industries.

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