Artificial intelligence is taking the world by storm. While some are concerned about the threat of ‘existential risk’ posed by the technology, others are more optimistic.
It would appear that Swiss cola maker Vivi Kola falls into the second camp. The established player, founded in Switzerland in 1938, has turned to artificial intelligence to design its latest offering: Vivi Nova.
The idea to use AI in the development of a beverage came around after playing with OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT, a natural language processing tool that creates ‘humanlike’ conversational dialogue.
‘Gripped by AI fever’, the Vivi Kola team found that by leveraging AI tools, it was able to develop a low-sugar, vegan soda product with health benefits within just two days.
First steps involved asking ChatGPT to develop a vegan recipe using ingredients with known health benefits. The response included water, lime juice, haskap berry juice, ginger juice, chicory root powder, and cane sugar. The team was ‘amazed’. According to ChatGPT, the drink would be full of antioxidants, strengthen the immune system, promote a healthy gut, and stimulate digestion.
"Haskap berries are known for their high antioxidant content, which helps to reduce inflammation and protect against cell damage. They are also rich in vitamins C and K, which can boost immunity and promote healthy bones," noted ChatGPT. "Lime juice is rich in vitamin C, which supports immune function and helps to protect against oxidative stress. It also contains flavonoids, which have been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases.
"Chicory root powder is a prebiotic fibre that can promote healthy gut bacteria and improve digestion. It has also been shown to lower inflammation and support blood sugar control."
The Vivi Kola team procured the ingredients, combined them, and conducted first taste tests. Initial results were positive, they recalled.
To come up with a name for the new beverage, the team again turned to AI. To align with the other brand’s in Vivi Kola’s portfolio, the company wanted a four-letter word. ChatGPT's suggestions included Vivi- Life, Tron, Best, Fuel, Tide, Luxe, Plex, Tone, and Nova. "I like Vivi Nova!" The Vivi Kola team responded. To which ChatGPT replied: "Great choice! Vivi Nova is a catchy and unique brand name that could potentially attract customers who are interested in trying a healthy and refreshing craft soda."
Finally, for the label, Vivi Kola asked generative AI bot Midjourney and 3D creation tool Unreal Engine for their take on the visuals. From what the team described was a ‘rather boring’ image of the haskap berry, the AI tools developed a detailed, ‘futuristic’ illustration which is being used for Vivi Nova’s label.
The team was ‘impressed’ by the ability of AI to recognise current trends and generate creative content, commented Vivi Kola managing director Camilo Antezana. “Although artificial intelligence is an exciting aid, [the processed] confirmed that it cannot replace people at the moment.”
Vivi Nova is being stocked by Swiss retail major Migros and Vivi Kola hopes to stock the soda in its sister company ViCAFE from this month.
Article updated 14/6/23 with input from ChatGPT conversation and Vivi Kola-sourced images.