Is Artificial Intelligence the Recipe for Wellness?

This past week, Jon Iwata, SVP of Communications and Marketing for IBM Corporation, guest lectured at Georgetown University in my Leadership Communications class. He discussed a branded point-of-view and how IBM has evolved from when he first began working there in 1995 to present day. For many years, the company focused their branded advertisement on creating a cleaner and greener Earth, hence their slogan, “Let’s build a Smarter Planet.” A hugely successful campaign that garnered worldwide recognition for many years, in the 2000s IBM concluded that change was necessary, not because the ad was losing momentum with the public, but because a new conversation was taking place. That dialogue centered around the phenomenon of digital and artificial intelligence.

With that shift gave birth to the infamous Watson, a technology platform that uses natural language processing and machine learning to reveal insights from large amounts of unstructured data. Watson represents illumination – the machine embodies humanity’s quest for knowledge, answers, and discoveries. It represents enlightenment in the face of uncertainty. From fashion and Sesame Street to cancer research and OmniEarth, Watson is improving processes and igniting progression at lightning speed compared to its human counterpart.

With Watson touching nearly every major facet of societal interest, how might artificial intelligence influence healthy eating habits and weight management in a world with both expanding waistlines and technological dependence?

Sizzling startups are serving up artificial intelligence apps that are optimized for food.


Tracks what you are eating through image technology and calculates the number of calories and nutrient-density of your meals.



Tracks what you eat. It is designed to visually determine the food placed on it, weigh the portions, and report on calorie and nutritional data. According to the company, its advanced optical recognition shows 99 percent accuracy with many foods. It can even differentiate between bread and sauce types. Pasta marinara with whole wheat bread anybody?


nuritasLooks at the chemistry makeup of your dinner plate. This app identifies the bioactive peptides within foods. Discovers scientifically proven health benefits through DNA analysis, which include: anti-inflammatory activity, muscle recovery enhancement, skin anti-aging solutions, and blood sugar level management for type 2 diabetics.

This startup is unique among its food app competitors in the variety of its services; namely, that the bioactive peptides can be used in a wide range of products such as pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, and cosmetics.

The Not Companygiuppse

Named ‘Giuseppe,’ an artificial intelligence model, this food scientist replaces meat-based recipes with recreated plant-based versions that mirrors the taste, flavor, and texture of the original meat-product almost indistinguishable.

An agriculturally sustainable company, the mission is to eliminate land and other resources required to support traditional animal farming.



This company has paired up with IBM Watson to provide expectant mothers with real-time, customized nutrition advice. Watson acts as a dietician, offering personalized meal recommendations and 24/7 support.


Still working out the kinks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is launching a pilot called, MyPlate, where grade school students order lunches online and are prompted by ‘nudges’ if they haven’t selected all five components of a healthy lunch – meat, meat-alternative, grain, fruit, vegetable, and low-fat milk.


(Sources cited: &,, Jon Awata lecture on October 6, Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies)






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