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Why the drinks trade needs to learn about GenAI

From significant efficiency savings to personalised marketing campaigns, GenAI offers many advantages for the drinks trade – but what are the opportunities as well as risks?

Those are the questions we seek to answer via the first major UK event on the impact of AI-driven technology on drinks, which takes place on Monday 17 June at King’s College London.

Headlined by Pam Dillon, who is co-founder and CEO of Preferabli, which is the leading B2B2C product discovery and recommendation software for wines and spirits, the event will take a critical look at how AI-driven technology is transforming the drinks industry.

To do this in a structured manner, the conference (which runs from 1 to 5.30pm – preceded by a networking lunch from 12-1pm) has been split into 5 sections, with the first part dubbed ‘The Nature of Sensorial AI’.

This opening session will tackle the issue of sensory perception and software development, featuring not only celebrated former French Laundry sommelier Chris Hoel, but also world-renowned Oxford University gastrophysicist, Professor Charles Spence.

As Dillon tells db, having Professor Spence is of great value to the drinks trade, as his research is focused on how people perceive the world around them, particularly how our brains process information from our various senses that make up the multisensory experiences of our daily lives.

Acknowledging that Spence has called for a ‘radical new way of examining and understanding the senses’ to better design consumer products, interfaces, and experiences, Pam says that “the implications to the wine and spirits industry could be both profound and sublime – and powered by AI.”

The second part of the event takes a close look at Gen-AI in the wine industry, as it seeks to define the role of Gen-AI generally as well as how it is being employed to the benefit of the drinks trade. To help us understand the benefits and pitfalls of Gen-AI, we have enlisted the academic powerhouse on this topic, Oguz A Acar, who is Professor of Marketing & Innovation at King’s Business School, King’s College London, as well as a Research Affiliate at Harvard University and an Expert at the World Economic Forum, while acting as an advisor to both start-ups and large corporations. Joining him, with a view on how Gen-AI is being applied to drinks trading, is Nick Martin, CEO at Wine Owners, along with Andrew Sussman, who works with Dillon as Preferabli co-founder, and will consider the vital role of good data in software development.

Following this, the event will take a look at the constituents of great cocktails, and the techniques being employed to maximise sensorial experiences, followed by a fourth part to the event, which focuses on how AI-driven software is being developed and used in the wine and spirits industry today. Joining Dillon on the panel is another academic with a specialist knowledge of AI and the senses. That expert is Barry Smith, who is Professor of philosophy and director of the Institute of Philosophy at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study. He is also the founding director of the Centre for the Study of the Senses, which pioneers collaborative research between philosophers, psychologists and neuroscientists, and sees him work closely with chefs and artists. Alongside Smith will be Rob Hollands, CEO at Proofworks, and a recognised expert in technology innovation, connected products and Internet of Things (IoT), who has worked with global businesses including Diageo, Pernod Ricard, Estée Lauder Companies and Nestlé.

Together, the pair plan to highlight how you define personalization, consider what data can be used to deliver truly personalised experiences, as well as how to apply AI to increase sales and optimize operations.

Finally, the conference will end with a tasting with an incredible line-up of wines and spirits, presented by experts in these respective fields, Richard Bampfield MW and Colin Hampden-White. But the purpose of this fun finale won’t just be to enjoy fine drinks, but also to show how an AI-driven platform can work like a human expert, providing individualized recommendations, but at scale.

To secure your place as this pioneering event, as well as to find out more about the timings, speakers and topics, please click here.

Date: Monday 17 June

Location: The Science Gallery,
Kings College, Guys Campus,
Great Maze Pond, London SE1 9GU

Time: 12pm-1pm lunch followed by the event, which runs from 1pm to 5.30

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Q&A Professor Charles Spence: The Sensuous Drinker

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