AI-generated Coke flavour released – is it the "real thing" or just a gimmick?

Coca-Cola Y3000 has been created with AI prediction software – apparently we'll all be drinking it in the future

Coca-Cola Y3000
(Image credit: Coca-Cola)

Coca-Cola has used artificial intelligence to create a new, limited edition flavour.

Like with its Byte special edition released last year, the new flavour is part of the Coca-Cola Creations program and seemingly only available in the US for now. However, Coca-Cola Y3000, as it's called, does come with two options – standard and with zero sugar.

According to CNBC, the new Coke flavour was created by AI algorithms based on human input. The company collected "key flavor preferences and trends" to assess what could be popular in the future, fed the data to its AI system and voilà. the new taste experience was born.

Generative AI was also used in developing the can and bottle design.

"Inspired by the timelessness of Coca-Cola, we want to celebrate everyone’s idea of what the future might look like," said the company's senior director of global strategy, Oana Vlad.

"With the help of AI-powered technology, Coca-Cola Y3000 Zero Sugar imagines how a Coca-Cola from the future could taste and introduces innovative experiences to explore the future."

We don't quite know exactly what the future tastes like as the brand doesn't say and we haven't had a chance to taste the flavour ourselves yet. However, according to the official website it should be served ice cold – which could be tricky in the future itself, considering how quickly the planet is heating up.

It's all mainly a gimmick, of course, but also a bit of fun. Coca-Cola adds QR codes to its Y3000 packaging that'll take consumers to related interactive experiences.

It's still unclear how AI can help us across our daily lives, but food and drink creation isn't a bad shout. We could easily imagine computational algorithms being used to suggest different flavour and ingredient combinations more widely – even giving us personal recommendations on beverages on repeated uses of a vending machine, for example.

Coca-Cola also plans to match its new Coke Y3000 drink with streetwear that'll be released in the autumn, so we can even look the part.

So maybe this will be what we're drinking and wearing in the real year 3000 – as long as the human race makes it that far, that is.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.