IBM Watson bottles that ‘Holiday Spirit’

Artificial Intelligence used to mix “joyful” vacation rum

Have you ever wanted to bottle-up and save that feeling when you have had a great vacation? Now, that joyful excitement of travel can be bottled in ‘Holiday Spirit’ — a new rum that’s crafted using artificial intelligence.

According to Joe Harrod — a big data analyst and Artificial Intelligence expert — Virgin Holidays used IBM Watson’s linguistic AI to interpret millions of social media posts to pick out key emotions associated with holidays.

IBM Watson then analyzed thousands of rum reviews to uncover which ingredients elicit different emotions and sensations in reviewers.

“In just six hours Watson was able to read 15 million posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter relating to holidays — and find the predominant emotions and concepts in those posts,” explained Harrod.
The two data sets were then matched up to create the “world’s first data-distilled rum recipe,” Harrod said.

The second data set analyzed the language and tone of 5,000 rum reviews and tasting notes found online.

“The data showed us that the top five emotions associated with holidays are: happiness, adventurousness, curiosity, relaxation and excitement,” says Harrod.
“It also showed us that these emotions matched with the following respective flavors: vanilla, all spice, curiosity, coconut and sugar or sweetness. This gave us the key flavors for our rum recipe,” Harrod continued.

The most positive emotions were captured in the social posts of vacationers and matched against flavors in online rum reviews to prepare the recipe.

IBM Watson matched happiness to vanilla, excitement to sweetness, curiosity to cinnamon, adventurousness to allspice, and relaxation to coconut.

“The rum essentially tastes like a holiday. With the perfect blend of vanilla, sweetness, spice and tropical coconut this premium drink captures all the flavor of the holiday spirit,” Harrod said.

While technology played a key role in developing the recipe, the rum was produced using traditional methods.

“The Virgin Holiday Spirit has a subtle vanilla flavor, medium sweetness, hints of coconut, and is naturally caressed with cinnamon and allspice,” said Ian Burrell, Global Rum Ambassador.
“It was my first time collaborating with a supercomputer to create a distinct blend, so we ensured a high level of quality control to deliver a premium palette experience,” Burrell said.

Only 800 bottles of the AI-designed rum will be available to buy across the UK, or you can order this techie drink as part of a cocktail at V-Hols lounge at Gatwick Airport.

This is not the first time that IBM Watson was called upon for AI-inspired recipes. Last year, Watson was used to create IBM’s Chef Watson with Bon Appétit app. The app encourages home cooks everywhere to discover unexpected flavor combinations, to address everyday mealtime challenges in creative ways, and bring new ideas to their kitchen.

The free Watson-powered app includes knowledge gained from training Watson to understand 10,000 recipes from the Bon Appétit database, in addition to how ingredients are used in different dishes and cooking styles. IBM has combined this information with what the system knows about food chemistry and human taste preferences, and has also integrated the valuable input shared by users who participated in the beta, according to IBM. You can use the cooking app here.

Learn more about the Virgin Holiday’s “Holiday Spirit” rum here. Check out Chef Watson here.