AI Sommelier Generates Wine Reviews without Ever Opening a Bottle

Fri, 29 Apr 2022 05:00:00 GMT
Scientific American - Technology

A new algorithm writes wine and beer reviews that sound like they were penned by human critics. Is...

In the world of wine reviews, evocative writing is key.

An interdisciplinary group of researchers developed an artificial intelligence algorithm capable of writing reviews for wine and beer that are largely indistinguishable from those penned by a human critic.

The team hopes this program will be able to help beer and wine producers aggregate large numbers of reviews or give human reviewers a template to work from.

Wine and beer reviews also make a great template for AI-generated text, he explains, because their descriptions contain a lot of specific variables, such as growing region, grape or wheat variety, fermentation style and year of production.

In order to generate its own reviews, the AI was given a specific wine's or beer's details, such as winery or brewery name, style, alcohol percentage and price point.

Based on these parameters, the AI found existing reviews for that beverage, pulled out the most frequently used adjectives and used them to write its own description.

To test the program's performance, team members selected one human and one AI-generated review each for 300 different wines and 10 human reviews and one AI review each for 69 beers.

Although the algorithm seemed to do well at collecting many reviews and condensing them into a single, cohesive description, it has some significant limitations.

At least in the beer and wine realm, human reviewers are still essential.

A review-writing AI could, for example, be used to synthetically amplify positive reviews and drown out negative ones, or vice versa.

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