Try Out These Pizza Recipes Dreamed Up by a Computer

Pizza-making robots won’t be taking over restaurant kitchens anytime soon, but, thanks to researchers at MIT, pizza makers can collaborate on unusual recipes with an artificial-intelligence (AI) program called Strono.

Strono is a recurrent neural network developed as part of the ridiculously coolHow to Generate (Almost) Anything Project. MIT scientist Pinar Yanardag heads up the project, which is dedicated to fostering human-AI collaborations. As described in more detail in a separate PMQ article here, Strono’s human programmers taught it to generate original pizza recipes based on hundreds of existing recipes culled from food blogs and recipe websites.

Some of Strono’s suggestions included pies topped with shrimp, jam and Italian sausage pizza; sweet potatoes, beans and brie; blueberries, spinach and feta; and bacon, avocado and peaches. In a collaborative effort, Tony Naser, owner of Crush Pizza in Boston, took the recipes, made a few tweaks (some of the recipes did not include a base or cheese), and prepared five artisan pies—with admittedly mixed success.

Related: Try these 7 can't-miss ways to spice up your pizzas

Yanardag and her team have called on other pizza makers, both professional and home chefs, to build on the recipes and add their own personal twists. To join in the collaboration, simply create a pizza that incorporates the ingredients listed in each recipe below, but feel free tothrow in additional ingredients and tweak as you please. Or you can simply test the existing recipes in your kitchen and see how you like them. Yanardag’s team invites you to send pictures and videos of your own human-AI collaborative pies. Email the team at howtogeneratealmostanything@gmail.com.

Pizza No. 1: Blueberry, Spinach and Feta
1 pizza crust
Spinach leaves, chopped
¼ c. chunky, cranked red onions
1 tbsp. crumbled feta cheese
½ c. fresh blueberries
1 head garlic, roasted
½ c. pizza sauce
1 c. cilantro, chopped
1 lime wedge
Freshly ground black pepper

Pizza No. 2: Bacon, Avocado and Peach
1 pizza crust
1 medium-sized red pepper, sliced
1 c. red onion, thinly sliced
1 ½ c. crispy bacon, diced
½ avocado, cut in slices
1 peach, cut in half
1 c. parsley, minced
½ tsp. hot sauce
Kosher salt
(Naser used an olive oil base for this one.)

Recipe video: The Jalapeno, Roasted Corn and Pancetta Pizza

Pizza No. 3: Shrimp, Jam and Italian Sausage
1 pizza crust
3 oz. shrimp, grilled and sliced
6 spicy Italian sausages, cooked and crumbled
1 oz. reduced-fat goat cheese
1 c. cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 medium-sizedjam
1/3 c. wale walnut ranch dressing
1/8 cucumber, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
(Naser went with a garlic sauce and Parmesan cheese base for this one. He also added shredded mozzarella, a sprinkling of rosemary, and some arugulaand invented his own version of the computer's required "wale walnut ranch dressing." He spooned out the jam in dollops but did not reveal what type of jam he used.)

Pizza No. 4: Sweet Potato, Beans and Brie
1 pizza crust
½ c. fat-free refried beans
½ medium sweet potato
¾ c. shredded cheddar cheese
6 oz. brie
½ sweet white onion
2 slices of salami
3 garlic cloves
Cilantro, dried and chopped
2 tbsp. pesto sauce
1 c. aged Greek yogurt

Related: Try this flavorful recipe for Chorizo Sausage Pizza

Pizza No. 5: Apricot, Pear, Cranberry & Ricotta
1 pizza crust
½ c. apricot preserves
¾ c. dried cranberries
1 pear, chopped
¼ c. ricotta
1 c. marinara sauce
1 can tomato sauce
¼ tsp. chopped parsley
½ tsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. fresh thyme
1 oz. cinnamon
(Naser used an olive oil and Parmesan cheese base instead of marinara for this one.)