If you’re a lover of artificial intelligence (AI) software and whisky, prepare to have your day made.
The world’s first AI-generated whisky is about to be poured. What’s better? It sounds delicious and you can buy it.
Even if you’re not a big fan of the tipple please carry on reading. We promise this will be a cracking ‘pub story’ if nothing else!
Mackmyra, a Sweden-based distillery, has teamed up with Microsoft and Fourkind to develop the eye-catching product.
Researchers have punched Mackmyra’s existing recipes into the AI system to train it. Customer preferences and sales data is also part of the science.
More than 70 million recipes can be generated by the AI as a result. The AI predicts which ones will be popular too!
It is understood that the liquor, which contains the unorthodox ‘artificial flavouring’, will go on sale this autumn. The price however has not yet been confirmed.
AI-generated whisky? – Tell us more!
So, Mackmyra recently announced that it has enlisted the help of AI to create its new blend. Not only that, big names are onboard to make this happen.
The blend, described as “fruity and oaky, slightly salty and with a dryish end”, has definitely got people talking.
In the past it has, of course, been the job of a Master Distiller to influence the process. Distilled whisky will always give off a familiar, smoky flavour – before being left in casks.
Casking helps the tipple to pick up intended flavours, as well as scents and colouring. At Mackmyra this integral strategy is now being left in the care of an AI system. So, if you’re an up-and-coming distiller you may hope this new practise doesn’t catch on! (More on that later)
There is still a Master Blender at Mackmyra however; Angela D’Orazio, also known as ‘Miss Whisky’. Speaking to Esat Dedezade, a writer for the Microsoft Blog, she revealed her thoughts.
The world's first AI-created whisky has arrived. 🥃
— Microsoft Europe (@MSEurope) May 14, 2019
According to D’Orazio, the team wanted to discover recipes that “will never have occurred to a person” and this can only be done with AI.
The Mackmyra team say they always strive to challenge the “very traditional” whisky trade – and who can argue with them on this one!?
“We see AI as a part of our digital development, and it is really exciting to let AI be a complement to the craft of producing a high-quality whisky,” D’Orazio told Microsoft.
“For me as Master Blender, it is a great achievement to be able to say that I’m also now a mentor for the first ever created AI whisky in the world.”
Pretty neat, right? (Pun definitely intended). Mackmyra say the AI models used are “much more complex” than ones used to create beer.
Why? They say it’s because “whisky recipe generation is more art than engineering”.
It’s not all doom and gloom if you’re working at the Swedish distillery, however. The brand says that it still benefits from human expertise and knowledge.
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🤖 🥃 Utilizing AI is not only faster than a person carrying out the process manually, but thanks to the algorithm’s ability to sift through and calculate a vast amount of data, new and innovative combinations that would otherwise never have been considered can be found. #mackmyra #ai #artificialintelligence #whisky #mackmyrawhisky #singlemalt #explorersinwhisky #gin #sweden #sverige #distillery #drinkresponsibly #labdistillery
D’Orazio describes it as “AI-generated, but human-curated”, stressing the decision process is ultimately still in the hands of a person.
Looking to read the full Microsoft feature on the software super brand’s work with Mackmyra? Check it out here.
Although we can’t promise they all link back to the good stuff, there will be something for everyone!