Super bot creates beer that tastes of optimism and joy

Claire Dodd

Claire Dodd

03 February 2016

High Peak Brew Co and data experts claim to have created a beer that tastes of joy and optimism, using IBM’s super bot Watson.

Customer engagement agency Havas helia worked with IBM to capture the ‘mood’ of the nation during the New Year party season by analysing thousands of social media messages. These were then matched with emotional states, the most shared emotions being love, joy, harmony, cheerfulness, optimism, resolution and excitement.

The Watson computer – which is programmed to glean insights from large amounts of unstructured data – then used Watson's Personality Insights, a tool that analyses language to produce a personality profile. Havas helia used this to categorise 2,800 existing beer recipes according to different human characteristics, such as assertiveness, friendliness or intelligence.

The top 10 beers that matched the most shared New Year emotions were identified and the recipes combined to find the most common ingredients. These were honey which denotes love and cheerfulness, the Nelson Sauvin hop for optimism, imagination and resolution, and the Hallertauer hop for excitement and emotion. All were used in the final brew, called 0101.

Steven Bennett-Day, group executive creative director at Havas helia, said: 'We wanted to use data and technology to interpret something abstract such as positive feelings and emotions and turn it into an experience. We thought what could be better than a beer that lets you drink in the optimism of the New Year?'

The Peak District-based High Peak Brew Co was chosen to brew the unfiltered beer.

This is not the first time IBM Watson has been involved in a more light-hearted project. Engineers had to wipe part of the machine’s memory in 2013 after it learned the Urban Dictionary in full and began answering researcher’s questions with some choice words.

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