Possibilities surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) are endless since permeating the world of letters, art, photography, and most recently, food.
Through AI, a Filipino working in the tech industry was able to create original Pinoy dishes—complete with convincing recipe names, accessible ingredients list, and high-definition photos.
"I asked AI to create completely new Filipino dishes that doesn't exist, but uses Filipino ingredients and cooking techniques," Cristopher David wrote in his Facebook post, which has over 3,300 reactions, 380 comments, and 4,300 shares to date. He noted that he used GPT-4, which uses large language models or LLM technology to generate finely crafted texts in seconds; and Midjourney, which generates images after feeding it prompts.
Among the 11 dishes David created include Tinikim na Manok, "a flavorful chicken dish cooked in a sauce made from calamansi, ginger, and coconut milk, garnished with toasted coconut flakes and chopped cilantro, served with a side of steamed rice.”
Pork Limuata, meanwhile, is "pork belly cooked in a tangy tamarind sauce with pineapple and ginger, served with a side of steamed rice and sautéed sitaw."
David's soup entry is Balaw Sapal, which is “made from young bamboo shoots, corn, and coconut milk, topped with chunks of native chicken, and garnished with alugbati (malabar spinach) leaves.”
As for dessert, he's offering Kesong-Biya, which features "layers of creamy carabao milk cheese, crispy flour wafers, and sweetened mangosteen jam, served chilled with a drizzle of coconut caramel sauce.”
David, 30, told PhilSTAR L!fe that since AI has already become an integral part of his day job as virtual/augmented reality consultant, he thought of using it to cater to his other passions, i.e., cooking food and making content on Reels and TikTok.
"There comes a lot of times when I run out of ideas. So then I thought: I can use AI to come up with dishes that do not exist," he said, adding that most of his food content have twists or experimentations.
David has already tried cooking Tinikim na Manok, and has posted it on Reels.
His AI-generated dishes also have invented names, but were meant to "sound" Filipino.
These include Payanga, Talukab Gisa, Tamalimang Manok, Manok Balistis, Kinilamok na Baboy, Binalugang Dalag, and Bukid Batala.
David believes that though he created Pinoy dishes via AI for fun, it has a lot of potential in impacting the way Filipinos cook in general.
One may use AI to come up with recipes depending on needs, such as those based on limited ingredients in the fridge, based on budget, or based on calories.
"I do believe it will also impact the way food evolves itself. AI in general is already augmenting human knowledge and creativity," David said.
He also noted how some comments pointed out that his dishes resemble other preexisting dishes in the Philippines. This, he said, would help spark discussions about food from different regions in the country.
But even though AI can enhance human capabilities, David also acknowledges its "enormous potential" to cause "tremendous disruption in a macroeconomic scale."
ChatGPT and other AI platforms have already been a cause for concern, especially in the academe where some students allegedly use them to write papers and answer exams.
Economists from Goldman Sachs, a global investment bank, also predicted that AI platforms like ChatGPT could affect 300,000 million full-time jobs around the world, saying 18% of work globally could be computerized.
AI has also been criticized for generating fake, misleading images, like that of Pope Francis wearing a puffer jacket and, most recently, an imaginary actor named Saint Von Colucci who supposedly died after undergoing surgeries to look like Jimin of K-pop supergroup BTS.
In any case, David believes AI can help improve lives and won't really immediately replace humans.
"I believe this generally shows how AI has the potential to impact humanity," David said of his dishes, "not only amplifying our capabilities but also fostering a deeper understanding, connection, and appreciation of our diverse cultures and traditions."