No, Coca-Cola is not using artificial intelligence to create new flavors: it's using us

Fever for artificial intelligence is everywhere, and it seems that all big companies are taking advantage of this discipline in one way or another. Among the latest to brag about it is Coca-Cola , which claims to have integrated these systems into its vending machines.

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There are those who say that this artificial intelligence has managed to convince Coca-Cola executives to market a new soft drink, called Sprite Cherry. It has not been like this: the only thing that machines have done is count votes , because it is the consumers of those variants of Coca-Cola that have decided which new flavor was the most promising.

Selling "smart experiences"

Greg Chambers, head of digital innovation at Coca-Cola, recently participated in the MobileBeat 2017 event. There he used to talk about the role of artificial intelligence in his company, and once again the occasion was used to use those magic words without it. that he was saying really meant too much .
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My goal is to expand the limits and drive the advancement of our brand. Artificial intelligence is the basis of everything we do. We create intelligent experiences. Artificial intelligence the core that enhances that experience
Really, Mr. Chambers? Is drinking a coke a smart experience? It may not refer to drinking Coca-Cola as such: the company will distribute a new family of vending machines with a kind of wizard (something like a Siri made in Coca-Cola) that will make the interaction with the experience to be more attractive to users and allow wider purchase options.

Of artificial intelligence, rather nothing

That experiment joins another one that has been going on for several months: in April 2017, the Coca-Cola Freestyle program began , with special dispensers located in certain shops where it was possible to enjoy more than 100 new experimental flavors thanks to the combination of certain base flavors .



That experiment bore fruit. With more than 40,000 of these machines throughout the United States and 14 million drinks a day , many data were generated. A lot of them , and it was those data that determined what flavor was the winner.
The idea is of course curious, but has little artificial intelligence , because those who tried new flavors and decided which was the most interesting were those who used these machines, not their artificial intelligence (if any).
So, no, there is not much artificial intelligence in the new Sprite Cherry and Sprite Cherry Zero soft drinks marketed by Coca Cola. Rather, it is a case study of how wisdom of crowds, or in other words Big Data, can help make business decisions . What Coca-Cola's artificial intelligence has done, if it has done anything, is to count votes.