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Japanese bakery used AI to capture the essence of romantic emotions through 'Romance Bread'

Japanese bakery used AI to capture the essence of romantic emotions through 'Romance Bread'
Kimuraya, Japan's oldest bakery, and NEC Corp have been pushed to create what they call "Ren AI Pan" or "AI Romance Bread."(CREDIT: Kanako Tanaka)


Love is a concept that has long captivated human imagination, with its taste often likened to various flavors and sensations. Japan, a country known for its innovation and technology, has taken a unique approach to explore this metaphorical flavor of love.


In a collaboration between Kimuraya, Japan's oldest bakery, and NEC Corp, a leading electronics company, the boundaries of culinary experimentation and artificial intelligence (AI) have been pushed to create what they call "Ren AI Pan" or "AI Romance Bread."


 
 

This innovative project aims to capture the essence of romantic emotions through a culinary experience. Using AI technology developed by NEC, the team analyzed conversations from a popular reality dating show and examined song lyrics that reference fruits and sweets.


From this extensive data, five key feelings associated with romance were identified: first encounter, first date, jealousy, heartbreak, and mutual love. Kimuraya then translated these emotions into flavors infused into their fluffy steamed bread.


 

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The resulting product, available in five distinct flavors, promises to evoke the sentiments of love with each bite. "Fateful Encounter" bread embodies the sweetness and airiness of initial attraction with a flavor reminiscent of cotton candy.


Meanwhile, "Jealousy" bread combines the earthy notes of purple sweet potatoes with the richness of truffle oil and raisins to evoke feelings of envy. "First Date" bread tantalizes with zesty citrus flavors derived from lime and orange peel, while "Mutual Love" offers a harmonious blend of sweet honey, succulent peach, and exotic dragonfruit.


 
 

Despite the technological prowess behind this endeavor, human creativity still played a vital role in bringing the concept to life. Yuki Kitazawa, a developer at Kimuraya bakery, explained that while AI selected the ingredients based on emotional analysis, human intervention was essential in the bread-making process. Attention was given to visually represent romantic emotions through vibrant colors, resulting in a visually appealing and emotionally evocative product.


The five flavors of Ren-AI steamed bread developed by NEC Corp. and Kimuraya Sohonten Ltd. (CREDIT: Kanako Tanaka)


The decision to embark on such an unconventional project stemmed from a shared challenge faced by both Kimuraya and NEC: how to engage younger generations in Japan, particularly those who express disinterest in romantic relationships.


 
 

Market research revealed a paradoxical desire among youth to experience the thrills of dating and love, despite a reluctance to pursue traditional romantic relationships. Recognizing this gap, the collaboration sought to inspire and ignite these sentiments through a novel culinary experience.


The development of "Ren AI Pan". (CREDIT: NEC)


NEC's AI technologies, namely "NEC Enhanced Speech" for speech-to-text conversion and "NEC Data Enrichment" for emotion analysis, were instrumental in analyzing vast amounts of data from various sources.


 
 

Conversation excerpts from the reality dating show "Today I Fell In Love" provided insights into real-life romantic interactions, while song lyrics offered a rich tapestry of emotions associated with love and food. By assigning emotional scores to these texts, AI generated a visual map that linked different stages of love to specific flavors, laying the foundation for the creation of AI Romance Bread.


Emotion mapping for various types of "Ren AI Pan". (CREDIT: NEC)


The launch of AI Romance Bread marks a fascinating intersection of technology, culinary artistry, and human emotion. Beyond its gastronomic appeal, the project underscores the potential of AI to enhance human experiences and bridge gaps in societal trends.


 
 

As consumers indulge in these delectable creations, they are invited to savor not only the flavors of love but also the ingenuity of human creativity and technological innovation.





For more science news stories check out our New Innovations section at The Brighter Side of News.


 

Note: Materials provided above by The Brighter Side of News. Content may be edited for style and length.


 


 

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