Ever heard of "wale [sic] walnut ranch dressing" as a pizza topping? No? That's probably because pizza-making AI made it up.
Monday, MIT student Pinar Yanardag and her colleagues launched the "How to Generate (Almost) Anything" project (it's not part of a class). Each week, the group will release something (perfume, art, food) created with an artist or artisan or scientist and a machine working together.
"By augmenting human capabilities and pushing the boundaries of creativity, can AI inspire us to create things that wouldn't have existed otherwise? A dress designed with a crazy hat, a pizza made with shrimp & jam or a scent that has never been smelled before?" a Medium post about the project asks.
Shimp and jam pizza? Indeed.
For the pizza chapter of the project, AI processed hundreds of artisan pizza recipes, and with what it learned, came up with combinations that it thinks would go well together.
"In general, AI models are very good at connecting different pieces of information together — that's why there is usually a surprise factor in anything that an AI generates," Yanardag tells CNBC Make It.
"In our pizza experiment, we saw something similar where AI combined ingredients like shrimp and Italian sausage with jam, which it picked up from a dessert pizza."