SMWS Bottle Bot

After a recent whisky club where we tried to emulate a ‘bottle naming panel’ – akin to how the Scotch Malt Whisky Society name their bottles but slightly more insane due to playing Scrawl and Pictionary in the process – we settled on a plan. During the evening, we were challenged – somewhat tipsily – to make an AI bot that emulates SMWS bottles names.

So how do you get a bot to create the plethora of bottle names that SMWS uses, from descriptive ones like “Log Cabin in the Black Forest” and “Ice Cream Cones in a Rose Garden” to slightly off-the-wall ones such as “Thou Art a Spicy One!” and “Fatberg Ahead“, all the way to the somewhat free-spirited “Those Aren’t Regulation Tyres” and “Let’s Head for the Lobby“. They all seem connected, but humans are good at seeing patterns – to help out our poor little robot, we need to utilise an LLM

SMWS bottle names
A variety of recent SMWS bottle names

Like, subscribe etc: @smwsbottles

There were four main steps in creating the bot:

  1. Collating and processing (in R) a database of randomly-chosen SMWS bottle names, then QAing them to remove errors and duplicates – ending up with ~7000 unique bottle names from the past 40 years.
  2. Using this list as a training dataset for GPT-2 to start predicting new names. Around 200 iterations were performed, then three sets of results were created using varying ‘hotness’ (1.0, 1.1, 1.2) – differing from very plausible to slightly whacky.
  3. Working with a compiled list of all SMWS bottle codes to tweet out, with an X before them to avoid confusion.
  4. Utilising the Twitter API (in Python) to post the results, using a CRON job to push them out automatically.
smwsbottles - apps
Coding languages and apps used to create the SMWS AI Bottle Bot

All that was run though and once we had some output, there was no curation done at all on the results – what it tweets is what you get. It’s quite fun to watch on that basis and there’s always a surprise around the corner!

You can see some example output from the bot below, and for those logged into Twitter, some recent tweets underneath:

Example tweets from @smwsbottlesExample tweets from @smwsbottles