Artificial Intelligence And Robots Can Make Your Next Cocktail. But Should They?

Posted: Feb 03, 2020

A Philly brewery and a Swedish distillery have recently experimented with AI to create new products—but some human touches are irreplaceable. For now, anyway.

We’ve seen artificial intelligence take over many tasks in the everyday world—from stocking grocery store aisles to parking cars. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that AI has found its way into the creation of alcoholic beverages, which often involves a host of different ingredients, flavor notes, and precise recipes.

A Swedish distillery and a Philadelphia brewery are among the increasing number of manufacturers that have incorporated AI and other out-of-the-ordinary technology in their production. Why involve machines in these venerated crafts? Both companies saw it as a thrilling learning experiment, but more importantly, they recognized technology’s ability to develop flavor profiles at lightning speed and standardize production.

Just outside Gävle, Sweden, Mackmyra Whisky partnered with Microsoft and Finnish tech company Fourkind to create the world’s first AI-generated whiskey. The distillery used machine learning models on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform and AI cognitive services and fed them Mackmyra’s existing recipes, cask types, sales data, customer reviews, and tasting notes.

The models could generate more than 70 million high-quality recipes. Master blender Angela D’Orazio reviewed hundreds of them until she landed on five to test in her laboratory. She then chose the best of the batch, a blend now known as Intelligens, which was released in September 2019. (It’s not available yet for U.S. customers, but sign up here for updates.)

By Sarah Kloepple
February 3, 2020

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