Axelrad pits humans against AI in a cocktail challenge
The Future. Texas bar Axelrad is testing whether human bartenders or ChatGPT is better at coming up with new, delicious cocktails. We won’t know the final score from customers until the end of the month, but the challenge is already showing new ways humans can lean on AI. It may also prove that the tech can be used as a fun tool for conjuring innovative cocktails at home, no matter the ingredients you have available.
The battle between humans and AI is already being waged at a bar in Houston.
- This month, Axelrad has put up a “Humans vs. Machines” menu — four cocktails created by human bartenders and four similar ones entirely developed by ChatGPT.
- The four prompts were “a spicy mocktail,” “a berry cocktail,” “a fruity, frozen drink,” and “a legend of Zelda-inspired drink.”
Customers will be able to order half portions of each drink and then vote on which is the best — whichever wins gets their drinks a permanent spot on the bar’s menu.
The human touch
So, how’s the AI doing so far? Owner Adam Brackman says that ChatGPT goes a little heavy on adding all the liqueurs to every cocktail, makes them a bit too sugary, and lacks creativity overall. So, the human bartenders had to adjust the prompts to tone down these elements so that the drinks are… well… drinkable (Remember, AI doesn’t have taste buds).
But, the bar did already find some nice uses for AI, including naming new drinks or brainstorming ideas for themed cocktails. It’s all in good fun, but it’s clear that the experience of human interaction and the expertise of a great mixologist isn’t going anywhere.