This is How AI can Actually Destroy Your Dinner or Date When Converting Cooking Ingredients

Artificial Intelligence

For the English speaking world, it can always be a challenge to find correct conversion rates between the US customary system (e.g. cups, tablespoons) and the metric system (e.g. grams, liters).

If you’ve ever tried to make an international recipe with gram units and measure out your ingredients with classic measuring tools like cups and tablespoons, you know what I’m talking about.

Google seems to be a very handy solution in this case, and why wouldn’t the giant search engine help you find the right answer?

It turns out that what seems to be a quick and easy search, can actually result in a completely wrong answer and even destroy your recipe, dinner, or date.

Searching for how to Convert 100 Grams to Cups

So this is how it happened.

The other day I wanted to see the Google results for converting 100 grams to cups, and here is what I got as a result.

100 grams to cups misleading result

This looks like a satisfactory answer, right? You don’t even need to click on a website, Google tells you right off the bat that 100 grams are 2/3 of a cup. Easy as pie, ready to continue cooking or baking your pie. (Please note that this is not the correct answer – continue reading.)

What’s The Problem With This?

The problem is chocolate. Chocolate chips to be exact. I’ll explain it below.

Chocolate chips

As a founder of a converter website, I happen to know that grams and cups are not interchangeable units. You simply cannot convert one to the other without knowing what ingredient you are converting. So there is no one definite answer to the question ‘how many cups are in 100 grams‘.

But what does this have to do with chocolate chips?

Just out of curiosity, I clicked on the website Google had taken this information from. Then I went ahead and searched for Google’s answer on the website itself, 100 grams being equal to 2/3 cup.

And what did I find? This was actually a pretty decent article, giving converting rates for possibly hundreds of different cooking ingredients for grams to cups.

And there, somewhere in the middle of this unthinkably long article, you can find the following result:

Chocolate chip conversion rates

It’s no coincidence, just the exact table Google is showing in their search results.

It’s chocolate chips! Chocolate chip conversion rates – one out of the hundreds of different cooking ingredients you might want to convert.

I’ll let you know the difference between some of the most common ingredients below, but let’s first tackle the elephant in the room, AI.

Where is the Artificial Intelligence in This?

There is no Chat GPT or DALL-E here, why am I talking about AI (Artificial Intelligence) then, you might ask.

Artificial Intelligence

AI is not only those fashionable terms. In fact, AI has been with us for years already, one example being the short snippets you might see at the top of a Google query. Like the one I am talking about in this article.

So Google AI just went ahead, analyzed the whole web, and out of possibly tens of thousands of websites and hundreds of different ingredients, for some mysterious reason, happened to find chocolate chip conversion rate as the most useful information for you.

The Different Conversion Rates and the Correct Answer

If you’ve come this far, you are possibly also interested in the correct answer to this conversion question we began with.

My first answer is what I already stated above: there is no one correct conversion rate. You really need to know what you are converting in order to get the exact rate and be able to seamlessly cook your recipe.

My second answer is to give you the conversion rates of a couple of common ingredients. Not only will this tell you the exact answer, but it will also highlight the huge difference between conversion rates of different ingredients. Just compare coca powder and honey for example, one being 3 times as much as the other when measuring in cups.

Flour3/4 cup
Sugar1/2 cup
Butter1/2 cup
Milk3/8 cup
Water3/8 cup
Cocoa powder1 cup
Vegetable oil1/2 cup
Powdered sugar7/8 cup
Honey1/3 cup

So would you just listen to an AI and use 2/3 cup of sugar to impress your crush on a date (and make your food extremely sweet), or use your human intelligence instead and find out that only half a cup is needed?

Expert cooking tip: buy a kitchen scale for a couple of dollars and you’ll never have any problems converting grams to cups.