Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Firstly, I would like to apologize for any incoherency in the following idea. I'm currently suffering from a slight sugar rush- Although this augments my typing speed considerably, my brain isn't going quite fast enough to keep up.


This is an idea for the algorithmic creation of drinks, alcoholic or otherwise.

First, one would randomly create several "chromosomes", each a recipe for some sort of drink. It would probably be a list of ingredients (Coke, V8, Salt, Vanilla Extract, Blue-Flavored Kool-Aid Powder, etc) and actions (Shake, Refrigerate, Microwave, Boil, Stir, Wait, etc), each appended with numbers explaining the quantity to add or the duration to carry the action out.

Each of these drinks would then be made, preferably by some kind of automated bartender robot, and tested, by which I mean drank. Before the testing of a drink, the current state of the drinker would be measured- temperature, hydration level, drunkeness, and perhaps some other factor(s). The drinker would then consume each drink, and then rate the drink on a 200-point scale ranging from "Vomit-Inducing" to "Perfection".

The data from each drink would then be weighted, based on the drinker data collected, and the resulting fitness values would be used to select the recipes to "breed" to produce the next generation.

The chromosomes would be "bred" to produce new chromosomes, "mutations" would be applied in the form of adjustments to the recipes- say, replace Coke with Pepsi, or add an extra gram of sugar, or delete the "shake" step, or throw in one.

The cycle would repeat, particularly delicious variants would be saved, and the drinks would slowly be optimized into perfection.

(Once fMRI technology or other neural monitoring technology advances enough, perhaps one could simply monitor activity levels in the pleasure center instead of relying on subjective and inaccurate data. One might also make this an iPhone application, so that a much larger gene pool could be tested without taking forever.)

Hive_Mind, Apr 17 2010

xkcd: Recipes http://www.xkcd.com/720/
[jutta, Apr 17 2010]


       The problem with this sort of in vitro evolution is that you tend to reach local maxima. In other words, you would risk evolving towards a drink which was quite unpleasant, but where changing any one of the ingredients made it more so.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 17 2010

       If you added a chance for mutation in each few generations, this would be even better. Also, testing simultaneously in several different markets could lead to allopatric speciation - the formation of several drinks at once, each pandering to regional tastes.
DrWorm, Apr 17 2010

       I vote that the first triumph of this process be called "The Dodo".
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 17 2010

       "The Amoeboid Blob" would be more appropriate.
DrWorm, Apr 17 2010

       Actually, [DrWorm], mutations are already included in the design. Look at paragraph 5 more closely.   

       Oh, and I'm currently trying to implement this. Seeing as I'm so newb at coding that I've never even worked with random numbers, let alone GA's, before, this could take a while.
Hive_Mind, Apr 18 2010

       Many years ago, my father was involved in market research on snack foods. He explained to me that, if you give a range of similarly-flavoured products to a focus group, they will usually state a preference for whichever one has the strongest flavour. That's not because they really like it more, but because they're under pressure to pick one, and the stronger flavour is the one they remember. Hence, generally over-flavoured snack foods.   

       So, I suppose my point is complementary to [MaxwellBuchanan]'s; not only might you get local maxima, but those maxima might well not mean what you think they mean.
pertinax, Apr 20 2010

       A very apt link [jutta]. Is there no situation that Randall Munroe has not drawn a comic for?
kaz, Apr 21 2010

       Oh, for the love of-   

       I hadn't even known about that. Now everybody's going to think I stole my idea!   

Hive_Mind, Apr 25 2010

       Cheerios and Vermouth ? see link
popbottle, Feb 06 2015


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