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Swedish distillery Mackmyra has teamed up with Microsoft to create the first whisky in the world to be made using artificial intelligence. Making use of machine learning, the AI has generated 70 million new recipes it predicts will be popular with customers. 

Photo credits: Michal Jarmoluk

Though AI is a relatively new phenomenon, it has already inspired a large number of entrepreneurs and companies, including Swedish distillery Mackmyra, which has used it to create an entirely new whisky. Developed in partnership with Microsoft and Finnish tech firm Fourkind, the whisky, a world first, will go on sale in autumn this year, as reported by the website Presse-Citron

70 million possible combinations  

Mackmyra’s machine learning models are powered by Microsoft’s Azure platform and fed with the distillery’s existing recipes, sales data and customer preferences, enabling it to generate more than 70 million whisky recipes and assess their chances of success.  


A supporting role 


Nothing can replace the human nose, however, and when it comes to approving the final product, it is the master blender who has the last word. “While the whisky recipe is created by AI, we still benefit from a person’s expertise and knowledge, especially the human sensory part, which can never be replaced by any programme,” said Angela D’Orazio, master blender at Mackmyra, as quoted in a Microsoft press release. 
According to Mackmyra, this is the first time that machine learning has been used to create a complex consumer product. “It is really exciting to let AI be a complement to the craft of producing a high-quality whisky,” added D’Orazio. 

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