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Maltesers & Google Whip Up A Storm And Bake Delectable AI Cakes
By Mikelle Leow, 06 Apr 2021
Image via Google Cloud
The latest—and arguably most unlikely—to join a growing list of quarantine bakers is artificial intelligence, and it’s already probably whipping up treats tastier than those of seasoned bakers.
The AI Cake is the dough baby of Mars Wrigley UK and Google Cloud, and was created based on trending data from Google Search as well as a “sweet and salty” theme.
A team of Google Cloud engineers led by developer Sara Robinson put together a machine learning algorithm that studied hundreds of recipes spanning scones and traybakes, training it to develop recipes on its own. They then came up with a cookie and cake hybrid—enhanced by the saltiness of Marmite—from the AI-generated cake and cookie recipes.
Apparently, one of the top queries on Google Search in the UK concerning “sweet and salty” were the keywords, “Is Marmite sweet or savory?” so the AI Cake is topped with a buttercream frosting infused with the controversial spread. Robinson, who loves baking, sweetened up the combo with chopped and whole Maltesers for texture.
Image via Google Cloud
Interestingly, the full name of the dessert, Maltesers AI Cakes, is hexadecimal for “Mars” when translated into binary-coded values.
To pit against the machine, Mars roped in 2020 Great British Bake Off winner Peter Sawkins to create a sweet concoction with a savory twist.
As opposed to the Google Cloud AI, Sawkins chose not to go high-tech with his dessert, borrowing an old recipe passed down from his mother ad switching it up with soy sauce for a pop of umami. He developed a rich mousse dessert with a caramel sauce center and a crunchy base; it was accentuated by malted milk powder and soy sauce as a nod to the “moreish” nature of Maltesers.
“AI is a powerful tool and I love thinking about fun, new applications of it,” explained Robinson. “In this case, maybe it will even inspire other amateur bakers out there to build their own creations! I set out to build a model using Google Cloud AI that could provide the basis for a new recipe featuring Maltesers. Baking is an art as well as a science - it requires finding a delicate balance of ingredients, sprinkled with a bit of magic. AI is the foundation, and human creativity combined with technology made this project shine.”
Below, you’ll find the full recipe for the sweet and savory AI Cake. Fans can also grab a personalized recipe, based on their character traits and preferences, over at BakeAgainstTheMachine.co.uk.
[via Campaign, images via Google Cloud]
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