This week I tried out an AI pie.

Yes, artificial intelligence. And yes, pies you put in the oven – not the popular coding devices.

Indeed, when I WhatsApped a software developer mate about this, he assumed I wanted help in reviewing the latest Raspberry Pi!


The veggie spiral pie with spiced tomato sauce was designed using an open-source AI model and did not sound particularly appetising, especially to someone accustomed to a traditional Saturday afternoon half-time Pukka steak pie – but it turned out to be pretty tasty.

Despite the accompanying PR which claimed the bakery was “able to gain a new perspective about ways of approaching product development using emerging technologies” it’s difficult to argue that it was much more than a gimmick. I think I’ll stick to my regular Pukkas.

It got me thinking about areas of everyday life that could be enhanced by AI.

An alarm clock that wakes you at the optimal moment to arrive at work on time – taking into account whether the cat is likely to need feeding, traffic and the likelihood of the showers at work being free – would be a great start.

A shopping list that automatically populates and optimises your use of ingredients to eliminate wastage would be a game-changer for me.

And an AI capable of informing me whether Barnsley FC were going to win or not could save me many trips across the Pennines (and a few quid in petrol in the process…)

Pipe dreams, perhaps; but there is one area of my life which has recently been improved by AI.

For years I’ve asked colleagues: ‘Why can’t I find a tool capable of transcribing interviews for me?’

I think I’d made peace with the notion that transcribing is a necessary evil which all journalists must periodically go through. But then Al Hardaker turned to me and uttered the immortal words: “Check out this auto-transcribing tool.” is amazing. You simply upload an audio file and after a few minutes you receive a notification to say your transcription is ready. You can even have 600 minutes a month for free.

We estimate that it’s 90 per cent accurate, which means checking everything is incredibly important. You can do this in real time, editing the text as you play the recording from any point.

It could also spell the end of nominating someone to take meeting minutes.

Esme Loans co-founder and CMO Veronika Lovett said that AI offers “many opportunities to gain a competitive advantage… it’s a really exciting time for SMEs and scale-ups with AI coming into the workspace”.

I now agree wholeheartedly. At least, until the day an AI is capable of exercising editorial judgment and writing news stories…