The world’s first beer brewed with the help of artificial intelligence is now on sale. Four beers have been created, with each recipe altered based on customer feedback received by an algorithm.

The system is hidden behind a Facebook Messenger bot, which takes feedback from customers and sends it onto human brewers who change recipes accordingly. IntelligentX, the company behind the beers, said the use of AI would help brewers receive and test customer feedback “more quickly than ever before”.

Codes printed on the bottles direct people towards the bot, which then asks a series of questions. This information is then interpreted by the algorithm, which learns from customer feedback to ask better questions in the future.

The bot asks questions based on customer preference and flavour and answers are normally marks out of ten, yes or no and multiple choice. The AI uses a system known as reinforcement learning to learn from how it has acted and get better outcomes in the future. In this sense the AI is ‘rewarded’ based on hard-coded biases that instruct it to please customers – those who like hoppier beers or stouts, for example.

This feedback is then accumulated to spot trends and inform the brewing process, with beers slowly changing over time.810“The AI is about putting all the customers in the same room as the brewer,” said IntelligentX co-founder Hew Leith. It would be extremely difficult and time-consuming for a human to collect this much data, Leith continued, but the AI can gather and interpret it with ease.

The team behind the AI hope it could one day help them win a major beer brewing competition. The project is the work of machine learning firm Intelligent Layer and creative agency 10x.

IntelligentX’s four beers have evolved eleven times so far based on initial feedback collected during trials over the last 12 months. The beers are currently being toured around tech and startup events in East London and are also being stocked by co-working space WeWork.

The four AI-brewed beers – golden, amber, pale and black – are available now from Ubrew for £4.50 each.

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