DALLAS – The beef industry’s newest subject-matter expert uses artificial intelligence to help consumers get the best out of beef.

Chuck Knows Beef, powered by Google AI, features cooking skills consumers can access for free via desktop, smartphone, the Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa smart speaker. The checkoff, along with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) unveiled Chuck Knows Beef during the 2019 Meat Conference held in Dallas March 3-5.

Market research firm Nielsen reported that smart speakers like Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant can be found in nearly a quarter of American households. The kitchen is the most likely place to find these devices, and cooking skills are the most sought-after functions by consumers. Speaker skills can include setting a timer, retrieving recipes, wine parings and building a shopping list. The Beef Checkoff launched Chuck Knows Beef to capitalize on this trend.

Bridget Wasser, National Cattlemen's Beef AssociationA beta test and soft launch of the Chuck Knows Beef ‘skill’ occurred last fall and lasted into winter, and now Chuck Knows Beef officially is live. Bridget Wasser, executive director, Meat Science and Supply Chain Outreach for the Beef. It's What's For Dinner. brand at Centennial, Colorado-based NCBA, explained that Chuck Knows Beef came to be while the association was in the process of updating the brand.

“’Beef. It’s what’s for Dinner.’ is really recognizable among consumers,” she said. “It’s got recipes, cooking instructions, cuts, nutrition, production information — everything you’d want to know about beef.”

The big relaunch of the brand and companion website included profiles, videos featuring ranchers from across the country and other information to help tell the beef production story. This treasure trove of content serves as the basis for Chuck’s beef expertise.

“So, we spent the last year putting a lot of energy into that and getting that out in front of consumers,” Wasser continued. “In the meantime, behind the scenes, we were developing Chuck Knows Beef as an extension or another way to approach the brand for those consumers that we know want to interact more with voice, or in the moment in the store when they’re making a purchase decision.”

Chuck Knows Beef uses the same “brain” or API that powers Beef. It’s what’s for Dinner.com, she said, and it pulls the answers to questions from content that’s already populated on website.

“That way, we know it’s a controlled environment and accurate information,” Wasser explained. “We’ve got a team that’s watching the question flow [and] dialog flow in the back-end so that we can adapt. If we’re getting multiple questions on the same topic that we can’t answer, we can create content so that it can pull from that and we can make sure he can answer those questions. Or, if he’s just interpreting a question incorrectly, we can correct that in the moment.”

Paid promotions in trade and consumer media in addition to ads on Google, YouTube and Pandora will targets smart speaker users.

“You’ll start hearing more about it, but it’s out there, it’s ready for use, and we’re really excited about it,” Wasser said.