Microsoft AI creates its own single malt whisky

PHOTO: Microsoft

Microsoft has partnered with AI company Fourkind and Mackmyra Whisky to craft the world’s first AI-created single malt whisky.

The golden-yellow whisky is described as “fruity and oaky, slightly salty, and with a dryish end”.

Based in Sweden, Mackmyra’s distillery is powered by Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, which generates its own blends and flavour profiles based on Mackmyra data. According to Microsoft, this includes “existing recipes… sales data, and customer preferences,” which can be used to create over 70 million high-quality whisky recipes that might be “popular”.

In the words of Mackmyra’s Master Blender, Angela D’Orazio, “it is a great achievement to be able to say that I’m now also a mentor for the first ever created AI whisky in the world”.

Whisky connoisseurs (or really any fine booze enthusiast) might sniff at the prospect of technology entering such a traditional industry, as AI-powered culinary experiments can get really, uh, interesting, especially when it comes to flavour combinations. After all, machines don’t have taste buds… yet.

Considering how finicky it is to create a great batch of whisky — including the time and patience required for whisky to distill and mature — this is a fascinating (and pretty risky) endeavour. One must also take into account the types of casks available, the length of distillation time, and human error.

Fourkind’s Jarno Kartela, however, is optimistic about the future of AI-curated consumables.

“I envision AI systems generating recipes for sweets, perfumes, beverages, and maybe even sneaker designs… these new AI solutions can be used to generate products that retain the spirit, look and feel of the brands behind them, while at the same time being new and unique,” he enthused.

Mackmyra’s AI-powered whisky will be released some time in August… we’ll just have to figure out how to get our thirsty robot hands on a bottle outside Europe.