Yes, another AI article

Yes, this is another article about using Generative Artificial Intelligence, also known as AI. But this time I hope it's something we all can use, if not every day then several times each week. A little while ago I was a panel participant in a Zoom meeting about using Artificial Intelligence and I mentioned that I used it to help me create recipes for food and cocktails. The host was blown away! He'd never considered using AI in that way. Sure, he had used it to help write bedtime stories for his grandchildren. He had also used it to summarize long articles, help him write emails, and help him create Powerpoint presentations, but he'd never considered using it to create recipes. His wife was a new vegetarian and they were struggling to come up with good recipes that satisfied her needs. He tried it during the meeting and he got what he said was an excellent vegetarian main dish.

I try to eat low carb or keto and that's often a struggle finding recipes that are both satisfying and low carb so one day I turned to ChatGPT (at and said to it:

You are an expert chef, well versed in cooking low carb and keto meals. Knowing that I can eat basmati rice in limited quantities and egg noodles, suggest a recipe for beef and noodles that I can eat.

And it came up with a great recipe that included both noodles and basmati rice. I really didn’t want both rice and noodles in the same dish so I countered with

The recipe doesn't have to include both egg noodles and basmati rice.

And it modified the recipe to exclude rice but include the egg noodles. The recipe also included low sodium soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, black pepper, garlic, and ginger as well as bell pepper, snap peas, onion, and green onion. What a great Asian-inspired beef and noodle dish! The only other problem was that the recipe listed the beef and noodle amounts in grams so I asked it to use American measurements and it converted its original 300 grams of beef and 100 grams of noodles to 10 ounces of beef and 4 ounces of noodles. Sure, I could've opened a tab in my browser or asked my smart device to do the conversions, but I had an AI that was already working on the recipe for me!

Next, I asked it to make it more of a typical American recipe so it dropped the soy and oyster sauces, sesame oil and ginger and substituted Worcestershire sauce.

See how I asked my initial question, after conditioning the AI by telling it that it was an expert chef at keto and low carb cooking? That part of the prompt set the AI on the path I wanted it to follow and told it what we were going to be working on. Then I told it what I wanted and what I could eat. When it gave me a recipe that included everything, I prompted it again to modify my request slightly and it adjusted the recipe accordingly. I prompted it several more times and ended up with 2 very usable recipes. I have used it several more times to come up with recipes given what I have on hand. If you decide to give it a try, don't forget to include flour and any other staples or vegetables that you have in your cupboard or refrigerator. And if you're not completely satisfied, don't be afraid to iterate, that is tell it what to modify and try again. And heed my standard warning when it comes to AI: don’t just blindly follow what the AI tes you - they hallucinate by making stuff up and just plain getting some things wrongl Use your best judgement as to the ingredients, proportions, and cooking

I enjoy having a cocktail before dinner. I have a limited bar and recently acquired a bottle of cognac and I wanted to try a cocktail using it and my limited bar. Having the experience of ChatGPT trying to use everything I put in the prompt, I limited what I told it I had on hand and said this to it:

You're now an expert mixologist and bartender. What cocktail could I make with cognac, sweet and extra dry vermouth and bitters?

Unsurprisingly it came up with a cocktail using 1 ounce of cognac, 1/2 ounce each of sweet and extra dry vermouth and 2 dashes of bitters. It suggested rimming the glass with a lemon peel or dropping a maraschino cherry into the glass if I had it. I had it last night and I enjoyed it.

That's all for this week's column. I hope this gives you some ideas of how you might use Generative AI to help you in your daily life. As I said earlier, don’t just take whatever the AI tells you - always make sure the answer makes sense. And don't hesitate to experiment, it costs you nothing. Feel free to write to me if you have questions!

As always, my intent is to help you understand the basics and equip you to search for more detailed information.

Please feel free to email me with questions, comments, suggestions, requests for future columns, to sign up for my newsletter, or whatever at [email protected] or just drop me a quick note and say HI!

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