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Editorial: IBM's high-tech barbecue sauce is impressive

A view of IBM's supercomputer, named Watson. (Jan.

A view of IBM's supercomputer, named Watson. (Jan. 13, 2011) Credit: AP

"I'll take 'Delicious' for $2,000, Alex." That's what Watson, the IBM supercomputer known for beating human "Jeopardy" champion Ken Jennings, might have thought . . . er, processed, when tasked with inventing a new barbecue sauce. To show the power of "cognitive cooking" technology, engineers had Watson absorb recipes and information about the enjoyability of flavors and data on ingredients. The result is "Bengali Butternut BBQ Sauce," a nonintuitive combination of butternut squash, white wine, dates, Thai chilies, tamarind and more. Most who've reviewed the concoction say that like Watson, it's a champ. If you want to make it yourself, the recipe is at We think the feat is impressive, but we're holding out for a machine that can chop the squash, and clean the mess after a big barbecue dinner.