When I read a pitch about the first AI-generated beer, I initially had dystopian sci-fi visions. After all, making the perfect beer is always a mix of science and art. Was this the science of brewing going too far? Would it mean more robots and fewer brewers? Deep Liquid co-founders Denham D’Silva, Jamie Sherrah and Simon Lucey are quick to notice the human involvement of brewers. In fact, this AI beer innovation is involving more people in the beer-making process than ever before.
“Initially, I was terrified of the trend,” admits D’Silva, co-founder and CEO of Deep Liquid, which has a mission to extend AI to small and medium businesses while engaging customers. “I had started a craft brewery with a focus on quality. However, I soon realized that awards don’t lead to a viable business. Independent craft brewers unable to scale would struggle to create the efficiencies needed to stay competitive. I feared for the fate of small producers like me, and the public, who benefit from a wide range of craft producers.”
D’Silva, who previously served as Regional VP for Merrill Lynch, says he was aware that consolidation would hit the beer industry. “I had seen it when I was an investment banker, smaller and medium-sized companies, unable to achieve economies of scale, struggled and were often acquisition targets.”
Lucey shared D’Silva’s concerns about the industry, but Lucey was much more optimistic about AI’s opportunities.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to work at some of the most prestigious institutions, at the cutting edge of AI research,” Lucey says. “The opportunity to help lead a business with the goal of spreading the thoughtful application of Machine Learning to SMBs and the wider community was too compelling an opportunity. I wanted to be part of this journey.”
Sherrah, a colleague of Lucey’s and also a beer aficionado, soon became involved. Together they formed Deep Liquid to serve as a solution to global supply challenges and to ensure that small and medium-sized local producers remain competitive. Instead of replacing people, Deep Liquid expands human resources to remove guesswork and optimize labor.
“With a critical staff shortage, it’s never been more important that we find ways to make every employee more productive,” said Brooks, former professor and director of MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and creator of AI inventions like the Roomba, who is at the forefront. of making AI more accessible. “This is the only way we increase the quality of life”
How it works
The first recipe comes from a collaboration between Deep Liquid’s AI and the Brewers. They use machine learning to create the first recipe and then work with the brewers to train the neural network for the first recipe.
From there, Deep Liquid’s platform brings the entire community into a conversion. Reviews (accessed via the QR code) provide more data that allows the AI to suggest recipe improvements.
Here’s what the group did for its proof of concept, The Rodney AI IPA, in Australia, released in December 2021. Customers rated the beer until the end of March. This data was used to update the recipe brewed in April. The improved recipe entered the Australian International Beer Awards, the largest annual beer awards in the world, where it won a high silver (missed gold by 1 point).
“The neural network allowed us to get “Rodney v2” to market 70% faster,” says D’Silva, adding: “I am also confident that the improved market performance was due to Deep Liquid’s AI increased research and development.”
So no, there is no emergence of the machine takeover of technology from the brewhouse or robots rather than humans needed to take advantage of AI.
“The real power is using AI to process millions of times more data than a human can,” the team said. “It integrates the customer into the R&D process and allows the brewer to listen to each individual consumer. It gives the brewers extra info so they can use their skills to make the best decisions. On average, it takes 2-3 years to perfect a recipe to achieve what we did (win a silver medal) in weeks with the help of Deep Liquid’s AI.”
Deep Liquid partners with Nola Brewing and New Bohemia Brewing for collaborations in the US
The AI Blonde Ale will be released on June 20 at a Launch Party at Nola Brewery, coinciding with CVPR, the world’s premier computer vision event.