South by Southwest Cooking Up Music and Food During Festival [Video]

South by Southwest
South by Southwest, the music, film, television and technology festival held in Austin, Texas is adding food to their menu of break out gadgets that premiere during the ten-day festival. The festival is cooking up music by revealing Samsung’s music application Milk Music. The application allows users to stream over 2,000 stations that are free of ads on Samsung Galaxy phones and Note tablets. Milk has more than 13 million songs that are chosen by a music expert or Disc Jockey in every music genera. The phone company got its music from Slacker, a digital music service, and has access to the entire music library. The catalog has music from artists such as AC/DC and The Beatles.

Users make their choices by using a dial to switch to different genres and an inner dial to choose different channels within a specific genera. Daren Tsui. from Samsung Media Solutions, said that the dial is instant and literally like using the terrestrial FM dial. Tsui continues by saying that people turn it and hear it. He thinks that it is going to allow people to discover music in a more natural and organic way. Tsui says that he is using his ears to find music instead of metadata. The app was created to get people who do not usually use mobile music services to use the app. A feature that might bring in new users might be that people do not have to sign in to use the service.

People can create their own stations that contain their favorite artists or songs. They can also tag songs they like and dislike to cater to their own musical tastes. Users are only allowed to skip six tracks in an hour but can skip six more during the next hour since the skipping quota restarts every hour. The application lets users remove genres they do not enjoy listening to and swap genres for stations. Milk Music includes genres such as Pop, Rock, Country, Hip-Hop, R&B, Alt-indie and Jazz. The application is not the only food related gadget to debut at South by Southwest.

South by SouthwestIBM is cooking up new dishes created by Watson, the computer that won Jeopardy, in a red food truck at South by Southwest. The computer can analyze approximately 35,000 recipes and around 1,000 chemical combinations. It uses that information to decide what ingredients create the most delicious and different dishes. Watson then uses those choices to create different food combinations such as garlic, coffee, and chocolate. Even though the computer creates its own combinations, it still needs a little help from humans. People are able to choose an ingredient, a type of dish, and a region to aid Watson.

It then uses that information to produce recipes, which are currently a list of ingredients. The criteria the computer uses to rank the recipes are how well the flavor combinations match up, how the computer thinks the food will smell and taste and how adequately the ingredients match up. These recipes list 12 to 14 ingredients. The team who thought up the idea for Watson said the recipes would list step-by-step instructions on how to make the dish. Twitter followers were allowed to vote for the type of food that would be made for the food truck that premiered on Friday at the festival. James Briscione, the director of culinary development for ICE and Michael Laiskonis, the creative director, ran the food truck and handed out kabobs, the winning food on Twitter. Watson chose chicken, pork, strawberry, pineapple, shiitake mushrooms, apple, green onion, curry, carrot, lime, mint and lemon as the ingredients that were used in the kabobs. Laiskonis said that she has never made food with that combination of ingredients before.

South by Southwest was cooking up music as well as food during their festival with the premiere of Milk Music and Watson, IMB’s computer chef. Milk Music is an application that allows users to stream stations and create their own stations by choosing their favorite artists. The application also includes a section called Spotlight where users can get exclusive content about artists and music. IBM is showing festival goers Watson, a computer that can now create recipes. The computer uses ingredients to create unique food combinations and then use those combinations to design recipes for different dishes. Steven Abrams, the director of the Watson group, commented on the computer’s ability to make creative dishes by saying that creativity is the highest accomplishment of human intelligence and asks if we can make a computer creative. The festival is helping food and music make a delicious entrance.

By Jordan Bonte


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