Holy Lemon Monster: Would You Try These AI-Invented Ice Cream Flavors?

published May 13, 2018
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

One of the most important things about ice cream (besides it tasting good) is the name of the flavor. If you go to a new ice cream shop, you want to see flavors that you are familiar with, but also want to see flavors that look like they’ll be exciting to taste.

Even the basics like vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry can all have interesting names. Ice cream is amazing and should never be boring.

Janelle Shae is a research scientist in optics who trains “neural networks, a type of machine learning algorithm, to write unintentional humor as they struggle to imitate human datasets. Well, I intend the humor. The neural networks are just doing their best to understand what’s going on. ”

She has her own blog, where she has recently been writing about her experiments with the AI networks on trying to name ice cream flavors. For Janelle, the experiment wasn’t going so great. She was getting back very unappealing ice cream flavor names, like Bloody Coffee, Colon Bane, and Strawberry Cream Disease.

Janelle’s issue was that the neural networks could remember and transfer data from a previous set/experiment she worked on. It just so happens, her previous set had been metal bands,

But it turns out a group of middle schoolers in Texas read Janelle’s blog and decided they wanted to give it a shot. They downloaded GitHub, which is “home to over 20 million developers working together to host and review code, manage projects, and build software together.”

The middle schoolers totally kicked Janelle’s butt at coding and came up with some really cool ice cream flavor names using AI. They had: Cookies & Red Hot Lover, Honey Vanilla Happy, Holy Lemon Monster, Bumble Cookie, Cherry Cherry Cherry, Peanut Cinnamon Budge, and more.

Would you ever try ice cream named by AI (and even ice cream made by AI)?