With Personal Food Computers, nerd farmers are finding the best way to grow

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I’m Caleb Harper, principal investigator and director of the Open Agriculture initiative at the MIT Media Lab. Kent Larson courtesy of MIT Media Lab

In his book Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit, Barry Estabrook details how grocery store tomatoes are both less nutritious and delicious than those grown decades ago. Industrial farming now grows crops for yield, sacrificing taste and vitamins for an easy-to-harvest, shippable product. It’s why apples at your local supermarket are probably about a year old. Caleb Harper, a principal research scientist at MIT and director of the OpenAg Initiative, wants to use technology to grow food that’s healthier, tastier, and more sustainable.

“Growing for nutrition and growing for flavor, it’s not really something anyone does,” he told Digital Trends at the recent ReThink Food conference in Napa, California.

Continue reading… “With Personal Food Computers, nerd farmers are finding the best way to grow”

Can AI have good taste? Auction giant Sotheby’s is counting on it

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Sotheby’s acquired startup Thread Genius, whose machine learning tech can discern clients’ artistic and style leanings–and suggest customized purchases.

Just a few doors down from its CEO and the wood-paneled cubicles where sharply dressed professionals sit, the eighth floor of Sotheby’s New York takes on a very different vibe.

Suddenly, it’s more Silicon Valley than Upper East Side as staid formality gives way to a group of millennials, some in T-shirts with their sneakered feet on desks. Computer code is scrawled on whiteboards and the room’s glass wall. It is here where the storied auction house–founded in 1744–meets its future.

Continue reading… “Can AI have good taste? Auction giant Sotheby’s is counting on it”

Scientists create electrode that lets you taste virtual food on your tongue

The same research team is also working on a digital lollipop.

In Sword Art Online, an anime series, gamers take part in a virtual world that is teeming with danger, but also with food. What if such an experience was a reality? What if you could not only interact with food in a virtual environment, but also actually taste it? Scientists at the National University of Singapore have developed a new electrode that could be the first step in making that happen. (Video)

 

 

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Scientists discover sixth basic taste the human tongue can detect – fat

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The researchers hope their discovery can be exploited to combat obesity by increasing people’s sensitivity to fat in their food.

Scientists thought the human tongue could detect only four basic tastes: sweet, sour, salt and bitter. Then a fifth was discovered, “umami” or savory. Now, researchers have identified a previously-unrecognized “sixth taste” – fat.

The Taste Test – Expensive and Inexpensive Wines Taste the Same

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The Taste Test

University of Hertfordshire Psychologist Prof Richard Wiseman has revealed the results of The Taste Test.  The Taste Test is a large-scale experiment to discover whether expensive wines are good value for money. The experiment involved over 400 members of the public tasting either an expensive or inexpensive wine.   Then they tried to tell which was which.  The experiment was carried out as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival.

 

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