Soylent releases female chatbot to help its mostly male customers eat
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Soylent releases female chatbot to help its mostly male customers eat


Meal-replacement company Soylent‘s target demographic is male, 18 to 34 years old, and apparently needs the help of a woman-themed chatbot to figure out how to eat. 

The Los Angeles-based company specializing in bottled meals for the tech set today announced a sweeping new ad campaign centered on an artificially intelligent “spokesbot” named Trish. Just what, exactly, does Trish do?

“Trish’s goal is to help make food decisions easier and stress free for all of us,” a flesh-and-blood Soylent spokesperson told Mashable. “She is rational, cares about humans, knows a ton about nutrition, and above all else — is helpful.”

To be fair, Soylent customers — some of whom claimed the company’s food bars gave them explosive diarrhea — could probably use a small bit of help. Although “where is the nearest bathroom” doesn’t appear to be one of the questions Trish is programmed to answer. 

Trish is programmed to appear on the Soylent website (and eventually ads) to answer queries regarding the product’s name. “It is just a science fiction reference,” the spokesbot tells inquiring minds. “We would never use people as an ingredient. People are great, but they have a very poor nutritional profile.”

Indeed. Maybe not enough Soylent in their diets?

Trish can help you choose between flavors.

Trish can help you choose between flavors.

Image: Soylent

Trish is the brainchild of ad agency Wieden + Kennedy. Adweek reports that the goal of the campaign is to extend awareness of Soylent beyond the company’s current tech-industry clientele.

“Trish’s character will influence all brand communications, including broadcast, digital, social and beyond,” explained the Soylent spokesperson, “and will assist customers with a variety of things, including with how to use Soylent, how much to order, adjusting frequency and discovering new flavors.”

That’s right, a product that is essentially SlimFast for bros now comes with an artificially intelligent instruction manual. For a company that insists “eating isn’t easy,” Soylent sure chose a complicated path toward simplicity. 

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March 8, 2017
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