Microsoft has partnered with Swedish distillery Mackmyra and Finnish technology consultancy Fourkind on what it’s calling the “world’s first artificial intelligence-created whisky.”
To achieve this, Microsoft offered up its own Azure cloud services and cognitive platform to power Fourkind’s AI tech, all while drawing from Mackmyra’s extensive catalogue of whisky recipes.
Specifically, the machine learning models were trained with Mackmyra’s existing recipes (as well as those for award-winning blends), sales data, and customer preferences. This helped the AI prepare more than 70 million recipes it predicts will be popular, all at a faster rate than “Master Blenders” of alcohol would be able to.
Further, Microsoft notes that the AI may even be able to come up with a few other combinations that humans may not have thought of.
The distillery says this is the first time that a complex consumer product recipe has been created with machine learning. However, Fourkind envisions AI being used to create all kinds of other products, including sweets, perfumes, beverages and even sneaker designs.
“The work of a Master Blender is not at risk,” Angela D’Orazio, Master Blender at Mackmyra, told Microsoft. “While the whisky recipe is created by AI, we still benefit from a person’s expertise and knowledge, especially the human sensory part, that can never be replaced by any program. We believe that the whisky is AI-generated, but human-curated. Ultimately, the decision is made by a person.“
Mackmyra’s AI-produced whisky will be available this fall.