Meet UniCOOK: ADAPT spinout start up shortlisted in the 2022 AI Awards

17 November 2022

ADAPT spinout startup UniCOOK has been shortlisted in the 2022 AI Awards with AI Ireland, a non-profit community devoted to promoting AI in Ireland. The project was shortlisted in the category for the Best Application of AI in an Academic Research Body.

UniCOOK is a recipe automation platform that takes advantage of all of the ADAPT Centre’s multimodal work to connect online recipes to supermarket shopping carts while involving image databases, nutrition and sustainability. All of this is achieved using natural language processing, image processing and personalisation. UniCOOK is not just catering for the average shopper or cook at home. Any recipe must be easily integrated into the UniCOOK platform for use by able or disabled people, young or older people and people with visual brain types or low reading abilities.

The startup was born out of the ADAPT SFI Research Centre in Trinity College Dublin bringing together multiple thematic areas covered by the centre. These include Natural Language Processing, Multimodal Technology, Image Processing and Deep Neural Networks and ethical considerations. This pipeline of Machine Learning Techniques helps the team to create the personalised storyboards that chefs need.

UniCook Founder and ADAPT Senior Research Fellow, Eamon Kenny, says: We quickly realised at UniCOOK that the curation process of creating a storyboard from recipes is very lengthy, time consuming and expensive. Using our pipeline of different AI technologies, a recipe is automatically transformed into a visual storyboard.

The process of curation requires taking relatively unstructured text and making sense of it by automatically tagging whatever is needed to create the storyboard. All of this content transformation can be utilised or sold on. For instance, the transformation of recipe webpages into a shopping basket is something that many grocery stores wish to do and with this AI technology this is just a few steps in the chain of the process that is immediately usable by supermarkets.

Automatically transforming a recipe into a visual storyboard requires utilising a pipeline of different AI technologies. The first deep-network determines the location of ingredients, method, descriptions and titles from unstructured text and classifies each of them. Using the second deep-network the classified sentences are split up into their constituent parts to obtain the measurements, verbs, quantity types, amounts and ingredients. These are then further analysed by a relational entity deep-network to produce a sequential set of instructions that can be presented to the user as a storyboard with/without a mixture of text. 

To learn more about UniCOOK listen to Eamon’s podcast with AI Ireland here. The AI Awards ceremony will take place on the 23rd November 2022 in the Gibson Hotel, Dublin.