Japan’s oldest bakery creates ‘romance bread’ using AI to inspire romantic feelings

Japan’s oldest bakery creates ‘romance bread’ using AI to inspire romantic feelings
via Jem Sahagun on Unsplash
Michelle De Pacina
February 15, 2024
Kimuraya, Japan’s oldest bakery, is using AI to create “romance bread” to capture the essence of romantic feelings.
About the AI bread: In collaboration with NEC Corp, the Japanese bakery is creating “Ren AI Pan” or “AI Romance Bread” using AI technology that analyzes conversations from a Japanese dating show titled “Today I Fell In Love” and lyrics from approximately 35,000 love-related songs in order to identify key romantic emotions: first encounter, first date, jealousy, heartbreak and mutual love.
NEC utilized two AI technologies: “NEC Enhanced Speech” to transform spoken words into text and “NEC Data Enrichment” to produce emotion scores based on textual data.
The five flavors: Kimuraya Bakery then translated these emotions into five flavors of fluffy steamed bread, aiming to inspire romantic feelings in consumers. The flavors include cotton candy for “Fateful Encounter,” citrus for “First Date,” purple sweet potatoes, truffle oil and raisins for “Jealousy” and honey, peach and dragon fruit for “Mutual Love.”
The AI bread went on sale Feb. 1 in Japan’s Kanto area and on Kimuraya Bakery’s website.
Human input: Despite AI’s role in ingredient selection, human input was still essential in crafting the final product with attention to visual appeal. 
“The selection of ingredients was done by AI, but our role was to make them into bread,” Yuki Kitazawa, a developer at Kimuraya, told CNN. “We paid attention to the colors used to express romantic emotions visually and aimed for a vibrant and pop appearance for Love Bread.”
Purpose of the bread: The collaboration between Kimuraya and NEC Corp aimed to address a decline in interest in romantic relationships among younger generations in Japan. Despite the issue among youth, there is still a desire for love and companionship. The AI bread sought to leverage technology to address the changing romance dynamics among younger people.
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