A pie created using artificial intelligence (AI) has been produced by pie maker Piglets Pantry in collaboration with digital lending platform Esme Loans in order to show how the technology can be used by small businesses.

The pie recipe was produced using Open AI’s GPT-2, a language model that can generate automated text after being trained on suitable human-written copy. In this case, Esme Loans helped Pigets give the model almost a million characters of pie recipes and cooking instructions from a variety of UK-based pie makers.

The model then produced a host of different pie recipes, the first generation of which were too bizarre to make a reality, but with adjustments to the language model’s parameters ultimately proved viable – if a little offbeat.

Pie aficionados at Piglets Pantry then refined these down to a shortlist that included a scotch egg pie, curried chicken pie and pear and blackberry crostata. One, a veggie spiral pie with spiced tomato sauce, was ultimately selected to be made a reality by Piglets’ chief food lover Joanna Hunter, due to the novel choice to use spiralised textures.

“The speed and the volume of results we were able to deliver were outstanding,” said Veronika Lovett, co-founder and CMO of Esme Loans.

“Joanna was extremely excited as the suggestions form the AI model were useable and relevant.”

AI pie

The resulting pie created using an AI-generated recipe.

AI pie demonstrates possibilities of AI technologies for SMEs

While the AI pie is a somewhat unorthodox application of artificial intelligence, it is designed to show how small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) can utilise the technology in practical ways – in this case, as a way to create novel recipes.

For Esme Loans, which primarily caters to SMEs, it is an opportunity to “demystify these emerging technologies”.

“It’s a really exciting time for SMEs and scale-ups with AI coming into the workspace – it opens many opportunities to gain a competitive advantage. Any business with intentions of scaling should be having discussions around how machine learning and AI could be used to help them succeed,” said Lovett.

“We have demonstrated this is within reach of SMEs, and is not just for big tech firms.”


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