The Swedish distillery Mackmyra uses artificial intelligence to make a whisky. The Swedes work together with Microsoft. The work of the Master Blender is not endangered by this.
When whisky is distilled, it is first and foremost a clear alcohol called white dog. Sometimes it is available in bottles, but may not be sold as whisky in Europe. Because here the alcohol must be stored at least three years to be allowed to carry the name Whisky. The whisky is stored in wooden barrels, which are responsible for the characteristics of the whisky in addition to the actual ingredients. And of course also for the dark color, although many distilleries re-dye to obtain an even color.
Often different whiskies are mixed to create a so-called blend. This is the task of the master blender. The Swedish distillery Mackmyra is now using Microsoft's Cloud Azure and AI Cognitive Services to create recipes for blends. All existing recipes are available to the AI, as well as sales data and information on customer preferences.
From this data, the AI can create over 70 million recipes, which could be popular according to their calculations. KI also takes into account the types of barrels in stock to mix a high quality whisky.
According to Mackmyra, this is not only faster than if this process were done manually. Rather, the AI should be able to find combinations that would otherwise be lost. However, the AI is not intended to replace the Master Blender. It is precisely the sensory abilities of humans that are not taken over by the AI. So the whisky is generated by an AI, but tested by a human.
The still nameless, AI-generated whisky is expected to be on the market in autumn 2019. Whisky is just the beginning. It is also conceivable that the same AI could develop recipes for other beverages or perfumes in the future using the algorithms used by Fourkind.