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AI Beer Businesses United Kingdom

Londoners Tests A Self-Driving Beer Tap And An AI-Assisted Brewery (gizmodo.co.uk) 90

At a bar in London, they're now testing the prototype for a self-driving beer tap, according to drunkdrone. Gizmodo UK reports: All you need to do is select your pint of choice on the touchscreen, pay with a tap of your contactless card and stick your pint glass at its base. The pump contains an electronic valve, which opens to allow beer to flow through. A liquid flow meter ensures the right amount of good stuff comes out.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg is also reporting on a London startup that's brewing beer with a special algorithm that constantly modifies the percentage of each ingredient -- hops, water, yeast and grain -- based on ongoing customer feedback. Levels of carbonation, bitterness and alcohol content all change based on how people are responding... The algorithm produces new recipes every month incorporating the feedback. "There are too many brands out there that just have one recipe for a beer, and they've had it for 60 years," said Hew Leith, co-founder of IntelligentX, the maker of the beer appropriately named AI. "We're not about that. We're about using data to listen to our customers, get all that feedback, and then brew something that's more attuned to what they actually want and need."
He believes the same process could also be used to design perfume, chocolate, and coffee.
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Londoners Tests A Self-Driving Beer Tap And An AI-Assisted Brewery

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  • "let me have something stronger!" and then fall on your face after a few more, unless they are monitoring the blood alcohol content of each customer this is just a retarded exercise in AI, and a dangerous one...not trying to sound like a killjoy I love getting smashed, but this shouldn't be a replacement for a sober bartender
    • Did you know it's now possible to buy cheap vodka and OP rum, take it home, and drink as much as you like?

      And this isn't a vending machine on the street. There'd be a human required in the bar, if only to refuse service to minors.

      • by hipp5 ( 1635263 )

        Did you know it's now possible to buy cheap vodka and OP rum, take it home, and drink as much as you like?

        And this isn't a vending machine on the street. There'd be a human required in the bar, if only to refuse service to minors.

        The difference is liability. At least where I live, bars are liable for their patrons. They are not permitted to serve visibly drunk patrons, and bars have certainly had license suspensions for doing so. If someone gets blackout drunk at a bar and then on the way home crashes their car into a school bus full of nuns, the bar can be held liable. Yeah, you can drink as much as you like at home, but then liability is on you, not the bar.

        • Be easy enough for an overseeing human to blacklist a patron's card for a few hours. For that matter, the dispenser could also count rounds and start asking simple maths questions to judge sobriety (of course there are ways around that, but it'd likely be enough to avoid liability, and there are ways around a human barkeep too, like getting your less-drunk mates to buy for you).

    • "let me have something stronger!" and then fall on your face after a few more, unless they are monitoring the blood alcohol content of each customer this is just a retarded exercise in AI, and a dangerous one...not trying to sound like a killjoy I love getting smashed, but this shouldn't be a replacement for a sober bartender

      I'm not sure where you are located but I've never seen a bartender or waitress refuse to serve a paying customer and even if they did, many times the person doing the ordering is grabbing something for a friend, ordering for the entire group, etc... Granted I live in a college town but most actual bars I've been to are so packed with sloshed people with barely room to move around that trying to figure out who is still sober and who might have had one too many would be near impossible. It's not like the mo

      • I'm not sure where you are located but I've never seen a bartender or waitress refuse to serve a paying customer and even if they did, many times the person doing the ordering is grabbing something for a friend, ordering for the entire group, etc...

        I've seen it happen at bars and clubs, though it's more common that the person is being 86'd by the bouncer because they couldn't keep their head off the table/bar or were obnoxiously drunk. I've also seen liquor store clerks turn sales away because they could smell alcohol on the customer's breath. I've also seen flight attendants refuse to serve drunk passengers on airplanes. Lots of US state and cities have what are called SIP (Sales to Intoxicated Person) laws.

        Selling alcohol to an intoxicated person [google.com]

      • In college towns, establishments cater to those who have not yet learned to handle a potent drug.

    • I don't think it'll end up quite that badly, but there is definitely an issue with a lot of people just wanting to "get hammered" and equating ABV with quality. I've talked to people who would refuse a 3.5-4% beer, even though it tastes amazing, because "don't give that weak-ass pussy bullshit, I want a REAL MAN's beer!".

      My point is, don't necessarily give people exactly what they want, because they'll just ask for stronger beer with a taste that's inoffensive and bland. It's much more fun to explore unknow

  • by toonces33 ( 841696 ) on Saturday December 17, 2016 @04:47PM (#53504875)

    What's to stop people from going online and submitting bogus feedback. For example, demanding so much carbonation that all you ever get is a glass of foam?

    • by glitch! ( 57276 )

      I was thinking the same thing. "Let's trick the AI to brew an IPA, except with dark malt and a hint of peppermint!"

      • Black IPAs are delicious, and apparently popular even with peppermint [google.com.au].

        • I'm finding it hard to find anything that goes worse with beer than mint.

          I'm limiting my pool to things that are actually edible, but some things that aren't (wood, perspex, cement) would still taste better.

      • I was thinking the same thing. "Let's trick the AI to brew an IPA, except with dark malt and a hint of peppermint!"

        Why on earth would a brewpub ever want to change composition of it's products? I suppose if a beer really sucked, it might be good feedback, but there are a lot of tastes, and changeing a beer to suit some people will just piss some others off because they miss a flavor profile they cant get any more.

        I like the idea of a lager IPA with no hops blonde Stout.

        Or a heavily noble hopped Scottish lager that's been let sit under a UV light for a month.

        • by glitch! ( 57276 )

          I like the idea of a lager IPA with no hops blonde Stout.

          Interesting. I might like that. I know I liked Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout. When I could find it and had money in my pocket.

          • I like the idea of a lager IPA with no hops blonde Stout.

            Interesting. I might like that. I know I liked Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout. When I could find it and had money in my pocket.

            Oatmeal stout has this nice texture to it from the dextrose in it. It's a good drink.

        • a heavily noble hopped Scottish lager that's been let sit under a UV light for a month.

          Ah, warm Tennent's Super...truly the breakfast of champions.

          • a heavily noble hopped Scottish lager that's been let sit under a UV light for a month.

            Ah, warm Tennent's Super...truly the breakfast of champions.

            One time in Canada, I opened a bottle of Grolsch that had been setting under the lights for a long time, and it cleared the hotel room in 10 seconds, skunked to high heaven! Which is why for beers like Heineken, Becks and Grolsch, the old wisdom of only drinking from bottled beer goes away.

    • What's to stop people from going online and submitting bogus feedback. For example, demanding so much carbonation that all you ever get is a glass of foam?

      No one would ever decide to mess with AI to get strange results. Just ask Microsoft...

      • No body wants to mess with microsoft AIs - they're all closet nazis.

      • Ha! Imagine your typical college town. Imagine your typical college kids; don't really know what tastes good (okinawa jungle juice anyone?), and further want to mess with the system, because they can. It won't be long 'til we have koolaid grape flavored beer.

    • Re:What's to stop.. (Score:4, Informative)

      by GuB-42 ( 2483988 ) on Saturday December 17, 2016 @06:34PM (#53505343)

      A good way is to limit feedback to those who actually buy it. 1 beer, 1 feedback, no more.
      This way, the feedback will come mostly from people who actually want good beer. There are also techniques to weed out fake reviews. Actual feedback follow statistical laws and large deviations can be ignored.

      • No, 1 beer = 1 review will just get you a taste that's determined by the people who drink tons of beer to get plastered, instead of the people who buy one beer and spend some time enjoying it.

    • What's to stop people from going online and submitting bogus feedback. For example, demanding so much carbonation that all you ever get is a glass of foam?

      Yup, and even if people give honest reviews, what happens when they demand an IPA taste like Budweiser?

      This sounds like a fad - I hope. I enjoy the interaction between the staff and myself, and my better half is prone to getting into long conversations with them. A robot that serves me beer that I have to take an online survey about is not a bar I would go to.

    • by jrumney ( 197329 )
      I don't think it even needs deliberate manipulation to fail. Without a constant taste, people who want a guaranteed beer that fits their palette will stick with known traditional brews. The only people in the feedback loop will be hipsters who know nothing about beer but want to pretend they are on the edge of the next revolution that the masses haven't picked up on yet. Positive feedback will be for anything that goes against the mainstream, and not necessarily have anything to do with quality.
    • by Shoten ( 260439 )

      What's to stop people from going online and submitting bogus feedback. For example, demanding so much carbonation that all you ever get is a glass of foam?

      I don't think there's a problem with this happening...especially if it does happen. Why? Because if that many people deliberately sabotage the outcome, then that's what people want...and the market has succeeded. Right?

      What I think is more likely is this: different people have different tastes in beer. Because (I presume) the input would be provided anonymously, you've got a situation where you can't tell when the population giving you feedback changes. So you end up with something akin to shifting win

  • serve the NO Tipping cheap beer drinkers. install the distraction dispenser far away from the most valuable bar "real estate".
    • just move the drunks to the fruit machine with lowest pay out % they will lose way more then unpaid tips.

  • Those shits in the UK want to get rid of bartenders? Screw that. Who's gonna take my keys away and tell me my wife is being kind of a bitch and that I should lay down the law at home? Maybe the British should focus on inventing a self-driving dentist first, huh?

    Anyway, they drink that shit warm over in England, so I don't think we should follow their lead on anything. It's no wonder their "football" players collapse in a screaming heap whenever the opposing team so much as breathes on them.

    • Miserable little rat-faced pope-git.

    • 1. I saw one of those automatic beer taps at Hong Kong Airport. It still needed staffing, to make sure nobody who looked underage used it.

      2. No, we drink it cold over here. Just not so cold you can't taste it (because our beer is worth tasting).

      • by Registered Coward v2 ( 447531 ) on Saturday December 17, 2016 @06:25PM (#53505313)

        2. No, we drink it cold over here. Just not so cold you can't taste it (because our beer is worth tasting).

        Don't lie. You drink it at room temperature because Lucas makes you refrigerators...

        • by mjwx ( 966435 )

          2. No, we drink it cold over here. Just not so cold you can't taste it (because our beer is worth tasting).

          Don't lie. You drink it at room temperature because Lucas makes you refrigerators...

          Actually, real ale is served slightly below room temperature this can be anywhere up to 8ÂC (yes C, none of that F nonsense, we'll drag your measurement systems in to the 18th century kicking and screaming if we have to) this happens to be room temperature in many places because a lot of pub landlords are too miserly to turn the heat up. It isn't flat either, ale is carbonated naturally rather than by an introduced gas like a Lager (which is the closest equivalent we have to American beer here in Engla

    • We drink ale over here, and not at room temperature. We don't call the superchilled tasteless low alcohol content diluted horse piss you drink beer.

      • We don't call the superchilled tasteless low alcohol content diluted horse piss you drink beer.

        Tell you what: we settle this like men. You line up your best football team against our best football team and we'll see who walks out of the stadium.

        I will you give you one thing, though: your football fight songs are the best in the world. I have to tip my hat to the only team on Earth that has a fight song that's in 6/8 time.

        https://youtu.be/XlP9KGjqXf4 [youtu.be]

        • Fight song? Fight songs go more like "If ye cannae dee the bouncy you're a tim" or "you're going home like Sandy Richardson".

      • We drink ale over here, and not at room temperature. We don't call the superchilled tasteless low alcohol content diluted horse piss you drink beer.

        Yeah - ummm, You need to come over and try some of our Horse Piss beer. Presumably you are referring to BudMillerCoors. That shit is mainly for College student who just want to get pissed. I don't drink beer by country, but the proper beer that 'Murrica brews is the equal of anything brewed anywhere as far as quality goes. Ironically, my lawnmower beer is British,

        • You're talking about "craft" beer, so called to differentiate it from so-called "beer" (the BudMillerCoors variety). I have no problem with that. It's the vague not-quite-lager that claims to be beer I'm not keen on, something I think we both agree about.

          • You're talking about "craft" beer, so called to differentiate it from so-called "beer" (the BudMillerCoors variety). I have no problem with that. It's the vague not-quite-lager that claims to be beer I'm not keen on, something I think we both agree about.

            The only positive thing I have to say about the Budweiser type light lager is that it is a very impressive example of consistency. Not good, but the same lame taste and aftereffects from every bottle. Or as my late departed mother would call them "PeeWaa".

            My lawnmower beer? Newcastle. Hot from a hard day's work and it's enough taste to let you know you're drinking beer, but not heavy. The second one tastes just as good.

        • America has a great wealth of craft brews and an equally amazing wealth of bourbons and ryes and other forms of whiskey.

          It's just such a shame that your mainstream junk BudMillerCoors, Jack Daniels Old No. 7 (Gentleman Jack is great, though), Jim Beam and so on tends to completely overshadow it.

          • It's just such a shame that your mainstream junk BudMillerCoors, Jack Daniels Old No. 7 (Gentleman Jack is great, though), Jim Beam and so on tends to completely overshadow it.

            That would be the crowd with the only goal being to get drunk. And with the College students, get drunk cheaply.

            Natty Light. These kids managed to get drunk on that nasty stuff. Eat packaged Ramen noodles all week, and drink cases and cases of Natty Light.

            Fortunately they grow up eventually, and tend to graduate towards beverages with some taste. Life is too short to drink shitty beer.

            We can go too far, with the present race to make Tequila some sort of ultra refined smoothness. I tried a shot of Pat

    • Those shits in the UK want to get rid of bartenders? Screw that. Who's gonna take my keys away and tell me my wife is being kind of a bitch and that I should lay down the law at home? Maybe the British should focus on inventing a self-driving dentist first, huh?

      Oh..... BURN!

      Anyway, they drink that shit warm over in England, so I don't think we should follow their lead on anything. It's no wonder their "football" players collapse in a screaming heap whenever the opposing team so much as breathes on them.

      This seems like such a bitched up idea that It reminds me of an April Fools story. I'm not all that talkative, but some banal pleasantries with a barkeep or waitstaff is just a part of the experience. Where we go, it's enjoyable and informative to chat with the person about what they think about a particular beer or liquor.

      So they are gonna trade this pleasant experience with a Robot that will serve you advertisements, will share what you are drinking with your Facebook page, your OHR, and

    • AKA "The (Beer) Shot Heard 'Round the World"

  • I don't know... some things are offering a solution to a problem you didn't know existed, therefore they're creating the fucking problem.

    And if you recall your chemistry, alcohol is a solution.

  • Laws in the us will limit this but in the UK they don't seem to give a dam in some pubs and the drinking age is a lot lower there.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I was literally thinking it was a self-driving keg that you hail like an ice-cream truck :(
  • Already done (Score:5, Informative)

    by wbr1 ( 2538558 ) on Saturday December 17, 2016 @05:38PM (#53505113)
    We have part on in Charlottesville. Fill a card with cash, pay by the ounce of whatever you pour yourself. Every so many ounces the card locks so you have to see an attendant (this is a drunk check).

    http://drafttaproom.com/ [drafttaproom.com]

    • We have part on in Charlottesville. Fill a card with cash, pay by the ounce of whatever you pour yourself. Every so many ounces the card locks so you have to see an attendant (this is a drunk check).

      http://drafttaproom.com/ [drafttaproom.com]

      You forgot though, the one in London is On the Internet! So it must be better.

  • Stop! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Doub ( 784854 ) on Saturday December 17, 2016 @06:03PM (#53505211)
    Please stop slapping "self-driving" on any random news about devices totally unrelated to driving... The linked article doesn't even use the term, so it means it's some morons at /. that added it. And here I was rejoicing you stopped reposting the Hackaday crap...
    • Yeah, but it worked. If the headline had said something about a beer vending machine, would you or I have bothered to read and post a repl...Nevermind, I guess I would have read it anyways. On $rant in $rants; continue;

  • I've had a few bartending jobs, like a lot of people. It takes a while to learn how to pour each beer from each tap so that it's the right balance between looking flat a too much head. When you change a barrel, it takes a while for the new beer to settle down. I'd like to see how these beer dispensers deal with less than ideal conditions. Or do they only work well with specific beers?
    • It's London they have it all fully flat because they think head is stealing.

      OK not everywhere but some of the worst pints I've ever had are because southerners think the sparkler is evil magic.

      • by bears ( 21313 )

        Sparklers are evil. Some of us prefer for the beer body to have condition, rather than have it all knocked out of the body into a load of foam by an aerosol just to please people who only drink with their eyes.

  • by Archfeld ( 6757 ) <treboreel@live.com> on Saturday December 17, 2016 @08:11PM (#53505701) Journal

    Cleaning the lines or the lack of is one of the worst things about taps. Using shared lines delivering different types of brews to the same tap would seem to compromise the taste of all the brews. Much the same way the coke free style delivery system makes your root beer taste like orange soda.

  • http://www.circle7ranch.com/tabletaps.php [circle7ranch.com] A place called Circle 7 Ranch already does this near St. Louis, MO
  • We had one of these at a bar I frequent. It didn't last long as it was prone to breaking down and surprisingly difficult to use.
    In theory it is a great idea, but many people don't know how to properly pour a beer. This would often result in a very foamy pour and unhappy customers. I don't think it lasted six months of actual use.

  • Londoners Tests

    They does?

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