Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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recipe interpreter

PDA-based AI software to upload a recipe and have it interpreted
  [vote for,

It is universally acknowledged that men are different, and women too. Some of them use metric systems to compare size, volume, and weight to describe themselves, others and ingredients of recipes, others use different systems of some sorts. This works fine, as long as there is no cross-cultural exchange necessary.
Except from discussing bodily dimensions – 6 foot 5 vs. almost 2m – there is an urge for comparison when exchanging about preparing food. Lb. and oz., pints and cups and quarts vs. g and cl, temperature in F vs. C, etc. And to complicate matters even, ‚spoonfuls‘ , ‚drams‘, and ‚dashes‘ are culturally coined. Not to mention ‚servings‘ or ‚pinches‘, ‚specks‘, or the simple sounding ‚one slice‘. American vs. *imperial* vs. metric vs. pragmatic equivalents.

So conversion tables or mechanistic converters do not really help. What we need is a culturally mediated interface, a device interpreting while not simply converting recipes: the recipe interpreter. It would help marketing it, if the system could be adapted to specific dietary needs (carbo vs. fiber vs. proteine vs. you name it) or gustatory preferences (hot, sour, sweet, salty: think of the pitch control in old hi-fi devices).
The interpreter contains an expert system derived from watching chefs and ordinary people preparing ordinary food in the respective countries/regions/cultures. Lots of field research, lots of interpretation by the research team. Imagine a PDA-based piece of AI software to upload (synch) a recipe and have it interpreted.
To avoid the danger of cross cultural mishy mashing, there is a built-in persistence controller. As soon as a recipe is adaptively changed above a certain rate, there will be an ‘à la xyregion’ indicator in the title. When a recipe is changed by user input (pitch control), an ‘à la xyusername’ is added. When a recipe is totally made over, the user is asked for a new name.
After a first screening of a new user, taboos and rules like ‘no pork’, ‘Kosher food’, ‘no alcohol’, etc. can be modeled.

And for Vs. 2: shopping list printer, ‘now I’ve bought this strange ingredient – what to cook?’-interface, and the like. Sure you'll suggest more.

intp, Jan 15 2002

The tables approach http://www.gumbopages.com/metric.html
[intp, Jan 15 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       This is a job for XML.
waugsqueke, Jan 15 2002

       There's one unit of height that's used almost exclusively in the British Isles, being the Nelson's Column. It's wheeled out for comparison whenever a press article is talking about some other tall structure. Converting one of these into French units would yield a result of several Eiffel Towers, I suspect.
-alx, Jan 16 2002

       Or perhaps a fraction of.
mcscotland, Jan 16 2002

       You mean to say that the Eiffel Tower is bigger than Nelson's Column? I just can't accept that...
-alx, Jan 16 2002

       I do a mean roast beef, roast potatoes & veg. and a chilli con carne that would blow the top of your head off (despite my earlier protestations that I don't like hot food - caught me out in a generalisation there). Generally I could keep a man from starving if he was not too fussy about haute cuisine.
po, Jan 16 2002


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