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Food and Beverages | Tuesday, January 04, 2022
Today, "artificial intelligence" frequently appears in popular culture. However, people must first understand how it works to utilize technology in vineyards and winery operations properly.
FREMONT, CA: Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to change the wine industry within the next decade completely. At the moment, AI applications in the wine industry are limited—but AI has the potential to become one of those pervasive technologies that pervade everything people do in some manner. AI affects purchasing habits, the vine-growing process in vineyards, and the wine-judging criteria.
Climate change and AI: Climate change will significantly impact the wine industry, creating a very real demand for competence in dealing with quickly changing climate conditions. Already, people are witnessing the emergence of wine expertise in hitherto unrelated sectors of the world. What happens when a wine region renowned for its cool environment becomes hot and arid? Or when a cool, dry climate changes to a hot, wet climate? Does melting the polar ice caps mean that Greenland or Iceland will soon have blooming vineyards? Or that wine regions located along the shore may be under peril from global sea-level rise? To address these issues, winemakers may have to turn to powerful AI systems, which may advise them on how to adjust growth conditions in response to climate change
Wine critics and judges aided by AI: Human sensations are coming to a robot near you, courtesy of AI advancements. Consider how algorithms driven by AI are already capable of recognizing voice and language and how computer vision can now see the same things as human eyesight. And now, AI-powered bots may soon be endowed with a sense of taste comparable to—if not superior to—that of a human wine critic. Consider how this will fundamentally alter the wine market if robot reviews are rated superior to human reviews. For instance, in some ways, people have already witnessed this dynamic in action, courtesy of the Internet. The Internet's "hive mind"—which aggregates reviews, ratings, and comments from thousands of people—is now considered a more accurate predictor of a wine's quality than a critic's traditional wine column. Thus, people may no longer be discussing 90-point ratings from a renowned wine reviewer such as Robert Parker in the future. Rather than that, they could be discussing Google, Amazon, or Apple 90-point reviews. Entire tasting competitions may also transform since robot tasters can taste hundreds, if not thousands, of wines in a matter of hours.