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Renegade Brewing, Denver. Photo: Image: Andy Cross/The Denver Post/Getty Images

Since we’ve sequenced the human genome and created a tool that can edit it, the logical next step is Carlsberg’s Beer Fingerprinting Project, which uses machine learning to predict a beer’s taste profile — bitter, sweet, toasty, and so on.

The big picture: Brewing is chemistry, and computer-assisted analysis can help fine-tune recipes or processes that can make a lot of money for beer companies. It was only a matter of time before AI snuck into the brewery.

The details: This project from the centuries-old Danish brewer will allow it to iterate more quickly to come up with new types of beer to sell.

  • It's gimmicky, sure, but cutting down on costly, time-consuming brewing rounds can save a big brewery money.
  • The big question: Even if the system can eventually predict a beer's flavor profile — for now, it can only differentiate between types of beer — can it guess what tastes good to actual people?
"It may sound nice to have to taste a lot of beers every day, but we create hundreds of small microliter brews and beers, in such small volume that they’re not really testable."
— Jochen Förster, director of Carlsberg Research Laboratory, in a Microsoft blog post

Be smart: There is no industry that won’t try shoehorning AI into its work — whether because it makes sense or because it’s the buzzword du jour.

  • Förster told CNET: "We have had an unexpectedly positive marketing benefit from working with artificial intelligence."

Steve LeVine’s thought bubble: Do we really need more types of beer?

  • My thought bubble: Yes.

Drink up: Microsoft’s blog post describes how it helps analyze the data from Carlsberg’s sensors.

Go deeper

54 mins ago - Health

Moderna says vaccine appears to protect against new COVID-19 variants

Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine is effective against new variants of the virus that first appeared in the U.K. and in South Africa, the company announced on Monday.

Yes, but: The vaccine was as effective against the strain from U.K., but saw a six-fold reduction in antibodies against the South Africa variant. Even still, the neutralizing antibodies generated by the vaccine "remain above levels that are expected to be protective," according to the company.

Dave Lawler, author of World
Updated 1 hour ago - World

Xi Jinping warns against "new cold war" in Davos speech

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Wang Zhao - Pool/Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned that a "new cold war" could turn hot, and must be avoided, in a speech on Monday at World Economic Forum’s virtual “Davos Agenda” conference.

Why it matters: Xi didn't refer directly to U.S.-China tensions, but the subtext was clear. These were his first remarks to an international audience since the inauguration of President Biden, whose administration has already concurred with Donald Trump's determination that China is committing "genocide" against Uyghur Muslims, and issued a warning about China's aggression toward Taiwan.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Dominion files $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani

Photo: Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani on Monday seeking $1.3 billion in damages for his "demonstrably false” allegations about the company's voting machines.

Why it matters: Giuliani led former President Trump's efforts to overturn the results of the election and spread the baseless conspiracy theory that Dominion's voting machines flipped votes from Trump to Joe Biden.

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