AI-Generated Food Commercials Are Impressively Uncomfortable

In recent years, there have been major advancements in AI that have allowed for more effective use of time, data, and technology across all aspects of society. But in the hands of curious creators, not all AI-generated outcomes are true to life, especially when it comes to food-related content.

A Reddit user spent a few hours teaching an AI how to create a completely artificial pizza commercial that ends with the awkward statement: "Your tummy say thank you." We aren't sure if we want to find out what the "secret things" might be on the digitally created pizza from Pepperoni Hug Spot. The AI-generated voice even attempts to promise fast delivery services, using the phrase, "Knock, knock? Who's there? Pizza magic." While many Reddit users are equally concerned and fascinated by the results, one user looked to the future, saying, "I bet one day most commercials will be generated this way. It's definitely going to be cheaper than a production crew if the quality is there."

With the rise of artificially generated photos and videos, creators across the internet have discovered that AI doesn't quite understand how people use their mouths. Among the various experiments, Ronnie Allman created an AI-generated commercial for beans in the style of filmmaker Wes Anderson, and people are seriously disturbed by the results. One commenter on YouTube said, "It still has that uncanny artificial feel." Another commenter wrote that "the deadpan expression of the two characters gives a creepy vibe." 

A shift toward artificial intelligence could mean big changes for the food industry

Clearly, commercials should stick to live actors and practical effects for a majority of food-based advertisements. It's going to take a little while for us to unsee the contorted faces and uneaten pizza slices featured in the creepy fast food commercial.

But not all AI-generated products are bad for business; in fact, we may be seeing a lot of AI in the future of the fast-food industry. Additionally, AI has already begun to influence the types of food you see on shelves. Campbell's Soup is starting to track consumer habits with the help of AI, in hopes of providing more products that closely match shopper preferences based on previous spending habits and trending data. The results are flamin' hot, as chief research officer Craig Slavtcheff shared with Food Business News: "The insights engine provided insights on how consumers want to be brought into spicy. [...] Consumers are eating spicy foods more often and are actively seeking spicy variations of their favorite foods along with new spicy ingredients and products." 

AI can also help inform marketers about how consumers respond to different strategies in real-time, by gathering primary data that allows food and beverage companies to appeal to the widest audience possible in a quick and efficient way. While companies are beginning to use AI to inform their marketing strategies, it is clear that the technology might not be ready to craft fully generated commercials, just yet.