Artificial Intelligence boosts wine’s bottom line

By Caleb Radford 

AI: not only can it can predict your lifespan – it can also help produce amazing wine.

The Australian wine industry is turning to artificial intelligence to streamline its manufacturing, with South Australian tech firm Ailytic developing an AI program to significantly increase production efficiency.

Using an AI technique called ‘prescriptive analytics’ the program accounts for all the variables that go into mass-producing wines, such as temperature, wine changeover, and inventory.

It then creates the best possible operation schedule, allowing companies to save considerable time and money as they produce their drop.

rows of wooden barrels with wine in cellar

Ailytic’s list of clients includes world-renowned wine companies Pernod Ricard, Accolade Wines, Treasury Wine Estates, and South Australia’s Angove Family Winemakers.

The system gains essential information from wineries using remote sensors, which are placed around machines and vineyards.

These sensors track a number of key procedures including the changeover from red to white bottling. This includes the sub-classification of each colour such as sweet red, dry red, aromatic white and fortified wines.

Ailytic’s program ensures that wine is changed quickly, without contamination, bottled using appropriate glassware, labelled and packaged.

The sensors then transmit the data to a computer in real time using wifi.

Usually, a single pass can take anywhere between three to six hours, but Ailytic’s system reduces this by up to 30 per cent.

Ailytic co-founder and CEO James Balzary says the company’s AI program is perfect for the wine industry because it thrives in complex environments.

“Our algorithms work well for things like packaging, bottling, general manufacturing and sink manufacturing – the wine industry is where we are seeing a lot of appetite and the most uptake,” he says.

“People think of wine as a romantic, artisan type of process, and it is when you are producing small batch, but the majority of wines we drink are mass manufactured in big operations. That’s where we come in – the more complex the business, the bigger the benefit.

“Even though the bigger wineries would find this more useful, even smaller operations will benefit.”

Ailytic’s use of AI in wine manufacturing has seen the company nominated at the 2017 Wine Industry IMPACT Awards in Adelaide.

Ailytic’s other clients are also based out of South Australia, with plans to expand its clientele, and the A.I. program has already garnered international interest.