AI tackles pizza

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is part of our everyday lives, whether we realise it or not. Machine learning has improved productivity and consistency across such a broad range of industries from mining to automated vehicles. Mostly, they’re a force for good but when you read about robot pizza makers you’ll likely find every Italian around the world collectively shuddering at the thought.

The Consumer Electronics Show CES Vegas 2020 sees Picnic engineer a robot that will make 180 18” pizzas or 300 12” pizzas in an hour. Pick your base sauce and toppings via a screen interface along with the number you require and off it goes. The Artificial Intelligence capabilities allow it to learn on-the-job, applying tomato sauce more uniformly, optimally placing slices of salami and consistently sprinkling cheese. host a video showcasing the robot’s talents:

Yet isn’t the beauty of a good pizza it’s lack of uniformity? The dough hand-stretched, kneaded and thrown from palm to palm; with air pockets that catch when cooking and give wafer thin crispy bits; the overlapping of toppings making every slice unique tasting. Cooking is from the heart and pizza to the Italians is the ultimate expression (well, along with pasta).

Ok, so I’d imagine this AI robot isn’t designed to produce a haute cuisine version of a pizza – your local artisan pizzeria can breathe easy – but food production companies supplying the major supermarkets  will be eyeing this will interest, as will university campuses, hotels and other catering operations. The industrial automation combines customisation with production volume, backed by the ability to analyse the data as well as the pizza produced. It might not be to a pizza aficionado’s taste but it certainly speeds up mealtimes!