Coca-Cola's AI-generated soda tastes like marketing

Let's hope they didn't train the algorithm on New Coke.


AI is just about everywhere lately, but nobody expected it to be used as a salvo in the ongoing cola wars. Coca-Cola, however, has other plans, as it just launched a new flavor co-created by artificial intelligence. The company’s calling it the soda “from the future” and it’s available for a limited time in both regular and zero sugar varieties, as reported by CNBC.

It’s called Y3000, which is certainly a futuristic-sounding name, though it calls to mind Skynet and its army of evil Terminators more than a refreshing beverage. Coke hasn’t released any information as to how it actually tastes, but testers describe it as resembling a raspberry slushy.

The company did release info on the creation process. It all started with researchers collecting flavor preferences from consumers, looking for trends to understand what the “future tastes like.” Next, this data was fed into a proprietary artificial intelligence system to help create the flavor profile. Before you know it, a new baby soda was born. What a mitzvah.

Doing its best Secret Invasion impression, Coke also tasked AI to help design the artwork on the slim can. The cans have a beachy, neon-purple vibe that absolutely calls to mind an image generation platform like Dall-E or Midjourney. There are also traditionally-sized bottles filled with the futuristic fluid.

Y3000 is described as a limited edition flavor, but Coke hasn’t said when the soda would head to the scrapheap to join other futuristic foods, like Dippin’ Dots freeze-dried ice cream and the transparent (and awful) Crystal Pepsi. It should stick around through the fall, though, as Coca-Cola also announced a partnership with luxury streetwear brand Ambush to release a Y3000-themed clothing collection later in the season.

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