Sapporo and IBM Unveil Their First Alcoholic Beverage Designed by AI — Its Flavor Might Surprise You
Over the past few months, artificial intelligence has rapidly taken over the world of writing, music, coding and filmmaking. Now, it’s coming for alcohol.
Sapporo Breweries and IBM Japan have just unveiled “Otoko Ume Sour Salty Plum,” a 5% ABV sparkling cocktail created by a propriety AI system name N-Wing Star. Sapporo says that they fed the program approximately 1,200 formulations and data on over 700 raw materials to help create “ingredient combinations that humans would not have thought of.”
“Based on the input, the AI system is able to predict the target product composition. It then produces a recipe consisting of the recommended combination of raw materials, ratio (mixing amount) of each material, formulation, and flavor,” said the brand in a press release.
And flavors it did create. The key ingredient of the new techno-cocktail is umeboshi, a sweet and sour Japanese pickled plum. These plums were originally introduced to Japan via China around 1500 years ago and are largely consumed for their medicinal, anti-allergenic effects.
N-Wing Star developed a new type of umeboshi ground paste that serves as the “unexpected secret ingredient” of the drink. Sapporo says that the new beverage will be released in 350ml and 500ml cans just in time for the summer.
Surprising as it may sound, Otoko Ume Sour Salty Plum is not the first of its kind — at least not in the world of AI-developed alcohol.
Last March, beverage giant Anheuser-Busch InBev unveiled Beck’s Autonomous, aptly subtitled “The Beer That Made Itself.” Every aspect of the 5% ABV Pilsner-style brew was apparently designed by AI from the ground up; from the recipe to the marketing to the futuristic half glass-half aluminum container, ChatGPT and Midjourney did the heavy lifting.
Though it’s unclear whether Anheuser-Busch InBev plans to make more AI beers, Sapporo is going full steam ahead.
N-Wing Star reportedly cut total product development time by around 50%. As a result, Sapporo says that they’ll be integrating AI as a “key component” in future canned beverage releases.
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