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A coffee roastery in Finland has launched an AI-generated blend. The results were surprising

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A coffee roastery in Finland has launched an AI-generated blend. The results were surprising
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A coffee roastery in Finland has launched an AI-generated blend. The results were surprising

2024-04-21 01:22 Last Updated At:21:37

HELSINKI (AP) — An artisan roastery based in the Finnish capital has introduced a coffee blend that has been developed by artificial intelligence in a trial in which it's hoped that technology can ease the workload in a sector that traditionally prides itself on manual work.

It is only apt that the Helsinki-based Kaffa Roastery’s “AI-conic” blend was launched this week in Finland, a Nordic nation of 5.6 million that consumes the most coffee in the world at 12 kilograms per capita annually, according to the International Coffee Organization.

The blend — an AI-picked mixture with four types of beans dominated by Brazil’s velvety Fazenda Pinhal — is the end result of a joint project by Kaffa, Finland’s third-biggest coffee roastery, and local AI consultancy Elev.

“Leveraging models akin to ChatGPT and Copilot, the AI was tasked with crafting a blend that would ideally suit coffee enthusiasts’ tastes, pushing the boundaries of conventional flavor combinations," Elev said.

Kaffa Roastery’s managing director and founder Svante Hampf told The Associated Press on Saturday that the two partners wanted to trial how AI and its different tools could be of help in coffee roasting, a traditional artisan profession highly valued in Finland.

“We basically gave descriptions of all our coffee types and their flavors to AI and instructed it to create a new exciting blend,” said Hampf, while showcasing “AI-conic” at the Helsinki Coffee Festival that annually brings together roasteries and coffee aficionados.

In addition to coming up with its chosen mixture of beans from Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia and Guatemala, AI created the coffee package label and a detailed taste description saying “AI-conic” is “a well balanced blend of sweetness and ripe fruit.”

Hampf acknowledged he was surprised that AI “somewhat weirdly” chose to make the blend out of four different type of coffee beans, rather than the usual two or three which allows distinction in taste between flavors from different origins.

After the first test roasting and blind testing, Kaffa’s coffee experts agreed, however, that the tech-assisted blend was perfect, and there was no need for human adjustments.

According to Elev’s spokesman Antti Merilehto “AI-conic is a tangible example of how AI can introduce new perspectives to seasoned professionals” while offering coffee lovers new taste experiences.

Kaffa Roastery hopes the trial serves as an opener of dialogue between coffee professionals of things to come in the future in Finland, a nation that has both a strong coffee culture and a passion for technology with a flourishing startup scene.

“This (trial) was the first step in seeing how AI could help us in the future,” Hampf said, adding the project brought smoothly together “the artisan skills of a roastery” and AI-provided data. “I think AI has plenty to offer us in the long run. We are particularly impressed of the coffee taste descriptions it created.”

Kaffa Roastery's founder Svante Hampf shows package of "AI-conic" coffee blend generated by artificial intelligence in Helsinki, Finland, Friday April 19, 2024. Kaffa, an artisan roastery based in the Finnish capital has introduced a coffee blend that has been developed by artificial intelligence in a trial in which it's hoped that technology can ease the workload in a sector that traditionally prides itself on manual work. (AP Photo/Jari Tanner)

Kaffa Roastery's founder Svante Hampf shows package of "AI-conic" coffee blend generated by artificial intelligence in Helsinki, Finland, Friday April 19, 2024. Kaffa, an artisan roastery based in the Finnish capital has introduced a coffee blend that has been developed by artificial intelligence in a trial in which it's hoped that technology can ease the workload in a sector that traditionally prides itself on manual work. (AP Photo/Jari Tanner)

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — American comedian Dave Chappelle said a “genocide” is striking the Gaza Strip amid the Israel-Hamas war to cheers during his performance in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, while urging Americans to fight antisemitism so Jews don’t feel like they need to be protected by Israel.

Chappelle’s comments come as Abu Dhabi has maintained its diplomatic relations with Israel even as it has increasingly criticized its conduct in the seven-month war.

Meanwhile, while pro-Palestinian marches have swept across the wider Middle East since the war began, protests and speech remains tightly restricted in the Emirates, a federation of seven sheikdoms on the Arabian Peninsula.

Even before coming on stage, the full crowd at Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Arena cheered as DJ Trauma, who accompanied Chappelle on the trip, played the song “My Blood is Palestinian” by the Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf. The thousands there agreed to place their switched-off mobile phones in locked pouches for the performance — a standard feature of Chappelle's shows.

About halfway through in a wide-ranging comedy set in Abu Dhabi, Chappelle, a Muslim, initially said he had been told by his friends either to discuss the war or not. From the audience, a woman screamed: “Free Palestine!” The crowd cheered.

Chappelle then said the Gaza Strip faces a “genocide." He also said that making Jews safer in America amid rising cases of antisemitism would make them realize they don’t need Israel as an ultimate protector.

Another moment also displayed just how diverse the crowd was in the Abu Dhabi. In telling another joke about how Jews cheer while drinking, Chappelle said “l’chaim,” or “to life” in Hebrew, which another man shouted back from the audience.

But when touching on the upcoming U.S. election, Chappelle’s mention of President Joe Biden — who has promised “ironclad” support for Israel — drew widespread boos throughout the arena. Donald Trump drew scattered cheers.

Chappelle, as other artists during the performance, told some racy jokes and swore. But they largely avoided discussing local politics — though Chappelle did make a sly joke about the UAE’s widespread surveillance network and another deadpanning about “how difficult is it to be gay” in the country as homosexuality is illegal.

But he also came out on stage with a falcon on his arm — a symbol for the UAE.

Chappelle, 50, won the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2019. He performed at the Abu Dhabi Comedy Week.

FILE - Comedian Dave Chappelle performs at Madison Square Garden during his 50th birthday celebration week on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023, in New York. American comedian Dave Chappelle called the Israeli war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip a "genocide" Thursday, May 23, 2024, to cheers while performing in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, while urging Americans to fight antisemitism so Jews don't feel like they need to be protected by Israel. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

FILE - Comedian Dave Chappelle performs at Madison Square Garden during his 50th birthday celebration week on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023, in New York. American comedian Dave Chappelle called the Israeli war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip a "genocide" Thursday, May 23, 2024, to cheers while performing in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, while urging Americans to fight antisemitism so Jews don't feel like they need to be protected by Israel. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

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