emoji chef

Illustration by Max Fleishman

Here's how it works.

Cooking is easy, unless you’ve never done it. Then it’s possibly the most daunting aspect of domestic life, even impacting you at the grocery store. If you don’t know any recipes how will you know what to shop for? Whole Foods wants to help, or at least have a robot help, so it's cultivated a chatbot that will teach you to cook. 

And all you need to do is show it an emoji.

Here’s how it works: Simply search Whole Foods in Facebook Messenger, and you’ll immediately be greeted with the option to search for or browse recipes. If you’ve got an idea of what sort of foods you’d like to eat go to search, type in what you want like “Mexican.” If you’re feeling spicy you can even add an emoji to help narrow down your search. Sure, messaging a corporation the word "Mexican," immediately followed by a taco emoji, would normally be in poor taste, but in the world of chatbots it only leads to a savory taco recipe.

For folks who just don’t know what they want there’s a browse option, letting you quickly narrow down your options for dinner while you’re in the aisle. It’s fast and efficient, offering up a number of tasty and healthy options in our time playing with the bot. If you’ve recently moved out on your own or you’re just trying to eat like an adult for the first time, this chatbot will be a big help when you’re standing in the store wondering what to eat.

In a statement to Venture Beat the company explained that the bot is simply a matter of trying to help customers find recipes however they want to find them.

“Our goal is to make recipe discovery easy and to help our customers find new ways to experience the foods they love. Whole Foods Market customers are always looking for inspiration, no matter whether they are at home, on the run, or walking down our aisles.”

Future updates to the chatbot will add the ability to save recipes for later and the addition of coupons. If you’d like to play with the Whole Foods chatbot it is active on Facebook, one delicious step closer to the Skynet that science fiction tried to warn us about. At least our robot-controlled future will have enchiladas.

H/T Venture Beat

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