How AI is Impacting Our Industry: Don’t Panic, Take Advantage of It

Since the arrival of AI in our daily lives, we have evaluated how it will affect our lives and our professions. The advancement brings many doubts and uncertainties but at the same time more opportunities to learn and get advantage of new technologies.

Source: Forbes, Jeyvan Sánchez, Digital Marketing Professor at Tecnológico de Monterey

TEST: How much do you know about AI?

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)? 

a) The ability of machines to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence 

b) A type of hardware used in computers 

c) A programming language used for software development 

d) A new type of smartphone

Which of the following is a subset of AI focused on learning from data?

a) Internet of Things (IoT) 

b) Machine Learning (ML) 

c) Blockchain 

d) Cloud Computing

Which of these is an application of computer vision?

a) Language translation 

b) Facial recognition 

c) Predictive analytics 

d) Chatbots

How are advances in AI impacting the hospitality industry?

a) AI is being used to automate room service and housekeeping tasks. 

b) AI is enhancing guest experiences through personalized recommendations and virtual assistants. 

c) AI is reducing the need for human staff entirely in all hospitality services. 

d) AI is not yet being used in the hospitality industry.

How is AI transforming the bartending and spirits industry?

a) By creating automated cocktail machines that can mix drinks perfectly every time.

b) By using predictive analytics to manage inventory and reduce waste. 

c) By developing virtual bartenders that interact with customers through apps. 

d) All of the above.

If you got all the answers right, you handle yourself wonderfully in the world of AI! At the end of the article, you can find all the answers. 

For now, let’s clarify some concepts so that we can later understand the contributions of AI to our industry to date.

What You Need to Know About AI

Let’s keep in mind that AI technologies are used in virtual assistants (like Siri and Alexa), self-driving cars (Tesla), recommendation systems like those used by Netflix or Amazon, and many more.

1. AI refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think and learn like humans

2. These systems can perform tasks that used to require human intelligence, such as:

  • Visual perception
  • Speech recognition
  • Decision-making
  • Language translation

3. There are two types of AI: 

  • Narrow AI (Weak AI): a system that does not possess general intelligence and was designed to perform a specific task, such as facial recognition or internet searches.
  • General AI (Strong AI): hypothetical AI systems that perform any intellectual task that a human can do, with a level of cognitive function equivalent to that of a human. This type of AI does not exist (yet)!

4. Have you heard about Machine Learning? It is a subset of AI that involves training algorithms to learn from and make predictions or decisions based on data. It includes supervised learning, unsupervised learning, and reinforcement learning.

5. Neural Networks is another concept related to AI. They are computing systems inspired by the neural networks in our brains that recognize patterns and classify data in complex ways.

6. A field of AI that focuses on the interaction between computers and humans through natural language, enabling machines to understand, interpret, and respond to human language is known as Natural Language Processing (NLP)

7. Robotics is the integration of AI with robotics to create machines that can perform physical tasks autonomously or semi-autonomously, like a fully autonomous AI and robot-empowered bartending unit that serves drinks, handles payments, and identifies and communicates with clients. Meet Yanu, for example. 

AI Trends: Apps you can use at the Bar

Simon Kistenfeger @the_real_vikingo , Global Ambassador of Altos tequila, is a geek about AI Apps! We asked him about the impact of AI in the hospitality industry, and this is what he told us:

  • “AI will have a major effect on the future of hospitality and all other areas of life. Certainly, it will improve efficiency when it comes to creating new menus, cocktails, and work manuals.” 

  • “One of my favorite apps, which I am using weekly, is ChatGPT. You can literally ask any question about cocktails, cocktail recipes, or any question you like. The answers are pretty accurate, most of the time. My tip is: to be as specific as possible so you get clearer answers.” 

  • “Lots of restaurants/bars have already started using robots who are serving the dishes/drinks to guests. These robots are programmed by AI.” 

  • “I started using an AI-based translator a couple of years ago. The results are stunning, and the function is very easy. That creates barrier-free communication at bar shows and with guests at the bar. Great way to communicate if the one you are talking to doesn’t speak your language. I am pretty sure these machines will be more and more improved in the machines and possibly in hotel bars or bars with lots of tourist traffic.”

  • “Another app I find quite interesting from the view of a business owner is CHERRY. It can help you find any item you might have found in a magazine, bar, or somewhere else. Simply upload a picture of a glass, chair, or any object you like. With the help of CHERRY’s AI, you can figure out the price and shop where you can buy it. It saves loads of time. That can be a game changer if you want to open a bar, for instance. My advice is to do some bar hopping and focus on the lighting.”

  • “Another great app is called AI Image Generator. It can produce stunning artistic visuals within seconds. You just have to provide words or describe the scenery. There are plenty of other apps on the market, and they can be useful when creating the design for an actual cocktail menu. On the downside, this might challenge professional graphic designers in the future.”

  • I recently got recommended another tool called BarSim, which is a virtual training platform. We all have to understand that this is just the beginning. In the future, most of the things we work with can be replaced by AI tools.

On a visit last year to Sweden, I visited a coffee shop that was entirely based on AI and robots. The latte art was very accurate and left me stunned. I believe we have to find a way how to handle and integrate it. I would definitely recommend everyone to get involved now in this new technology to be a step ahead, as we are just at the beginning of a new era. Surely you will find some guidance on techniques that can help ease up your mixology life.

AI Trends in the Bartending Industry

The convergence of cutting-edge technology and traditions is ushering in a revolutionary age in mixology! With AI-driven recommendations and robotic bartenders—at the forefront, artificial intelligence is transforming not only the delivery of beverages but also enhancing the core of bartending and the craft itself.

Bartending a blend of skill, creativity, and flavor mastery is getting a boost from AI as a companion! 

AI in mixology isn’t about replacing bartenders. It’s about amplifying their talents and offering new ways to surprise and delight patrons.

While bartenders have a vast repertoire of recipes, today’s patrons crave unique, personalized drinks tailored to their specific palates. This includes preferences for sweetness, bitterness, peatiness, and more. Essentially, people want drinks that reflect their individual tastes! 

Actually, one of the coolest uses of AI in bartending is personalized drink recommendations. Tools like the Barsys Coaster analyze customer preferences and past orders to suggest cocktails that hit the spot. This tech-savvy touch makes bar experiences feel more personalized and engaging. Imagine a robotic bartender, not just mixing drinks but tailoring them to your taste! With precise and efficient robotic arms, it will offer a futuristic spin on cocktail creation.

Likewise, in “bustling bars”, speed and consistency are essential. AI tools, such as automated cocktail dispensers, ensure each drink is perfectly mixed with precise measurements. This consistency guarantees a top-notch experience for every patron, no matter how packed the bar is. AI also turns bartending into a data-driven art. By analyzing sales data, popular trends, and inventory levels, AI will help you to identify crowd-pleasers and manage stock efficiently.

Finally, AI is elevating your cocktail creativity and innovation. IBM’s Watson AI, for example, has been used to create unique drink recipes by analyzing thousands of ingredient combinations to find novel and tasty pairings. This collaboration between AI and human bartenders leads to exciting new cocktail creations. Additionally, AI is revolutionizing bartender training with virtual reality simulators, offering a realistic and risk-free environment for learning and experimenting with flavors.

Robotic Bartenders: The Next Big Thing

In the cruise industry, robotic bartenders, like those on Royal Caribbean’s Bionic Bar, showcase AI’s potential in bartending. These robots mix drinks ordered via tablets, providing an entertaining and efficient service that adds a unique twist to the cruise experience. In clubs and nightlife spots, tools like iPourIt are streamlining drink distribution, making service faster and more efficient.

AI and Sustainability

Sustainability is a growing concern, and AI is playing a vital role in addressing it. AI systems reduce waste by suggesting ways to repurpose ingredients and optimize resources. Bars are also using AI to minimize glass usage and improve waste disposal, supporting more eco-friendly practices.

Enhancing Customer Interaction

AI is making the bar experience more interactive. Places like the Tipsy Robot in Las Vegas feature robotic bartenders as an attraction, offering the spectacle of drinks being prepared by robotic arms. This tech integration adds a fun and engaging element to the bar scene.