Thai food is delicious, but Thailand officials have a problem with it often not being delicious enough. According to The New York Times, Thailand actually backs a group called the Thai Delicious Committee, which is unveiling a robot this week that's supposedly capable of determining how good Thai food is. The committee's concern is that Thai restaurants across the globe often aren't authentic enough, so it built a machine that can analyze the contents of a dish and then compare it against an authentic standard. The committee has reportedly even created a logo that restaurants can use to vouch for their authenticity, so long as they're using an approved recipe.
Drop in some green curry and wait for a rating
The agency behind Thai Delicious has spent around $1 million on the committee, with about $100,000 alone going to the robot, according to the Times. The robot, called the e-delicious machine, uses 10 sensors to measure chemical signatures in the food, but it isn't stated how many dishes it's prepared to analyze. Authenticity is determined by comparing dishes to the collective tastes of local testers — in the case of one dish, the committee had 120 taste testers around a university rate how good different preparations were, ultimately using the highest rated as the standard.
One businessman who the Times spoke with is hoping to commercialize the machine. He's interested in selling them to Thai Embassies around the world, at the cost of $18,000 each, to allow them to start working with their local restaurants. The Times paints the entire premise of this program less as weird government control than an honest, if strange, attempt to make sure that there's some solid Thai food to eat all across the world. Rather than pandering to local tastes, the machine can make sure that recipes are true to what residents of Thailand actually enjoy. The Thai Delicious Committee has even made an app with authentic recipes that chefs can use. The New York Times has more on the initiative, including a video of the machine in action.