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Bernard Marr

Bernard Marr is a world-renowned futurist, influencer and thought leader in the fields of business and technology, with a passion for using technology for the good of humanity. He is a best-selling author of 20 books, writes a regular column for Forbes and advises and coaches many of the world’s best-known organisations. He has over 2 million social media followers, 1 million newsletter subscribers and was ranked by LinkedIn as one of the top 5 business influencers in the world and the No 1 influencer in the UK.

Bernard’s latest book is ‘Business Trends in Practice: The 25+ Trends That Are Redefining Organisations’

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Artificial Intelligence And Whisky Making: The Perfect Blend?

2 July 2021

That glass of fine whisky you sip at the end of a long day? It may have been created with the help of AI.

Mackmyra, an award-winning Swedish distillery, has launched Intelligens, the world’s first whisky created using an artificial intelligence program.

 | Bernard Marr

The Fine Art of Creating a Top-Quality AI Whisky

Mackmyra partnered with Finnish technology company Fourkind to develop an AI system that augments and automates some of the tasks of the distillery’s master blender, who is responsible for whisky flavour and product development.

Master blenders spend their time meticulously tasting and experimenting to create the best flavours possible, and that process can be time-consuming. Mackmyra wanted machine learning to work its magic in sifting through massive amounts of data to find new combinations.

Fourkind created their AI system using Machine Learning Studio and Microsoft Azure, then fed the system datasets that included:

  • Existing whisky recipes from Mackmyra
  • Wooden cask information (each cask gives the whisky a distinct flavour)
  • Ratings from consumers
  • Sales data
  • Evaluations from whisky experts

The AI system analyzed 70 million possible combinations and created a framework for creating innovative new recipes that taste great.

After the first batch of recipes, Macmyra’s master blender, Angela D’Orazio, provided feedback so the AI system could learn more about whisky combinations that work for the palette and sell well in the market.

In each round, the distillery narrowed down their options and increased the quality of the recipes. At the end of the process, D’Orazio selected recipe #36 as the final pick for their innovative new product.

AI Can’t Replace the Human Touch

Master blenders aren’t going anywhere, though. Even the most sophisticated AI system cannot replicate or replace the intelligence and discernment of the human senses. The human side of whisky-making is here to stay.

Instead, Mackmyra embarked on their AI-created whisky experiment to see if they could augment the skills of their master blender to create an innovative new recipe.

The AI technology that allowed Fourkind and Mackmyra to sift through vast amounts of data to develop new formulas and recipes could have all kinds of other applications. Be on the lookout for new AI software in industries like perfumes, desserts, medicines, and clothing.

Companies are looking for ways to partner with AI technology companies to augment and expand what their internal experts can do, so they can get the most out of every new product they develop, and reduce some of the heaviest data analysis and learning from their employees’ shoulders.

The end result of the next consumer AI experiment? It might just have notes of toffee, pear, apples, and creamy vanilla with a light tone of oak.

Want to try Intelligens? You can order a bottle here.

And you can watch my interview with Macmyra’s Chief Nose Officer Angela D’Orazio here…

Where to go from here

If you would like to know more about , check out my articles on:

Or browse the Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning library to find the metrics that matter most to you.


Data Strategy Book | Bernard Marr

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