Tastes Like Robot Chicken

Summer – Wk 4: Good Friends in Red Hippie Country | Artificial Shit Sandwich | Ghost in the BourdainBot | Cultivated for Technocratic Control

Good Friends in Red Hippie Country

It’s always great to see old friends, under a clear sky, out in the open air, where rednecks and natives weave through busted down saloons and old churches and a bulk organic food store and a precariously constructed hippie nest where old rock records echo out to the hills.

Cold smoke and cheap pizza. Deer wandering through yards and a lil’ ol dawg nipping at our heels.

Life is beautiful in the company of good friends.


Artificial Shit Sandwich

From Digital Journal, a vision of a bold new future where robots invent synthetic food—and we learn to like it:

A burgeoning veggie burger industry is using artificial intelligence to propose alternatives.

Swiss group Firmenich, one of the world’s leading flavour manufacturers, says recreating the sensation of beef relies not only on flavour, texture and colour, but also on how it responds to cooking and the way it feels in the mouth.

Gross, dude!

“Finding a protein that resembles meat from a vegetable protein is highly complex,” Emmanuel Butstraen, head of Firmenich’s flavours unit, told AFP at the company’s headquarters in Satigny outside Geneva.

Hehe… That guy’s name is “Butt Strain”…

One of the toughest challenges is avoiding an unpleasant aftertaste. Pea proteins tend to release bitterness, which the taste buds are quick to pick up, Butstraen noted.

Pea burgers. Mmm… It’s enough to make your butt strain!

“Artificial intelligence can generate millions of possibilities,” Barra said.

He said the algorithms can generate not only a wide range of flavour combinations but also factor in shifting consumer preferences, along with technical or regulatory constraints.

They filter down the combination of ingredients from which the experts can create flavours, he said.

Only then are they road-tested in the kitchen with a chef.

The algorithms can propose multiple combinations that the human expert aromaticians might not have conceived.

The snozzberries WILL taste like snozzberries!

With the rise of flexitarian diets and concerns over meat’s carbon footprint, the market for vegetarian alternatives is booming under the influence of US start-ups such as Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods, as well as industry giants such as Nestle or Unilever, which have jumped on the bandwagon.

I bet “flexitarians” suffer from God awful butt strain. Hehe he…


Ghost in the BourdainBot

NPR asks the big ethical questions of our time: “AI Brought Anthony Bourdain's Voice Back To Life. Should It Have?”

"We can have a documentary-ethics panel about it later," joked Morgan Neville, director of the new Anthony Bourdain documentary Roadrunner, as he revealed to The New Yorker that three lines in his movie — which sounded like they were being delivered by the late chef-turned-media personality — were actually generated by AI.

The film uses a variety of clips from Bourdain's wide back catalog of TV shows, radio and podcast appearances, and audiobook recordings. By design, Neville wanted the AI generated voice overs to blend in with those recordings, so audience members would never know the difference.


In response to some of the criticism he was getting, Neville responded, saying to Variety that "There were a few sentences that Tony wrote that he never spoke aloud. With the blessing of his estate and literary agent we used AI technology. It was a modern storytelling technique that I used in a few places where I thought it was important to make Tony's words come alive."


Does this information feel unsettling because someone did something bad, or have we just not yet acquiesced ourselves to the new reality of deepfakes?

No, we have not “acquiesced ourselves” to a lifetime of cheap simulacra. But thanks for asking.



Cultivated for Technocratic Control

My latest article: “Cultivated For Technocratic Control” at Salvo

If we want smart cities staffed by super-citizens, health experts need to create super-babies

Even if authorities truly believe their dehumanizing programs are for our own good, there’s scant evidence that our betters understand what our best interests really are. A quick survey of the present situation is a grim predictor of the future: addictive smartphones, robotic warehouses, smart city surveillance states, algorithmic mate-sorting, corporate opioids, adolescent hormone-blockers—it’s as if we’re the subjects of a misguided experiment.

Unfortunately, perpetual suspicion is an uncomfortable state of mind. No one wants to live like that.

After reading my recent article about a well-funded effort to create digital models of babies’ brains, and then adapt actual baby brains to idealized digital models, a reader asked me:

“Why is it so outrageous that willing parents might allow science to observe the development of their infants for the furthering of childhood development research?”

This reader is a mother herself, so she has a vested interest in improved outcomes. All parents want their children to grow up healthy and happy. Most are willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen.

In order to answer this concerned mother, three questions must be addressed:

Who is doing the research? On whom? To what end?

My replies are: Unaccountable experts. On us. For the benefit of elites. …

Read the whole thing THERE