Pushing the boundaries and making the magic happen – we speak with Dr. Rob McInerney, CEO and Co-founder of Intelligent Layer, about the intersection of AI and design and creating the optimal FinTECHTalents Festival beer. Tech, talent and customer satisfaction: our philosophies are truly in sync.
Tell us about what we can expect from the specially brewed FinTECHTalents Festival Beer?
We’re going to end up with a beer that has been optimised for the FinTECHTalents crowd. But let’s be clear – that doesn’t mean we’re looking to create something that “on average” tastes good – that’s not the objective we’ve given the algorithms.
When we’re using this technology to create new recipes, we have a choice as to whether we’re trying to make a product that a large number of people enjoy, or a very small group of people love. We believe that it’s best to operate somewhere in the middle of those two extremes, so expect to see a couple of different recipes that will satisfy a large proportion of people but will still be tailored to a few select groups.
We may end up getting it wrong, but that’s kind of the point. The idea here is to push the boundaries on what has already been created and be receptive to feedback. We’re excited to find out what people think…
What most excites you about AI Technologies and how they can impact society?
AI will change our lives, we all know that. We talk a lot about how AI in terms of automation (e.g., driverless cars) – there’s no doubt that we’ll experience a huge uplift in efficiency and safety in a whole variety of domains, but what interests me most is how we can use AI to bring us closer together.
In our business we’re using AI to enable product creators, in this case brewers, to talk to all their customers at the same time. Suddenly a craft brewer can be operating at the scale of multi-national drinks company yet be making more interesting decisions and actually have a dialogue with all of their customers. This is the sort of positive impact AI can bring to the world.
Bringing the focus down from big picture to beer – how can an AI driven brewing process benefit consumers?
The core vision of our business is to create the products that people really want. We do this by creating products that continuously improve based on customer feedback. You try one of our beers, tell us what you think via our algos and the next version will be more tailored to your preferences.
AI is a core component of our technology, as it allows us to gather feedback at scale – we can effectively have a conversation with all of you at the same time!
Thinking about the future of a tech driven economy and beer, what skills do you think will be most in demand? Are schools and universities adequately preparing students for the jobs of the future?
Everyone knows we need more developers, more coders, and more people skilled in the arts of AI and Machine Learning, and we’re starting to see schools and universities adapt to that demand. However, I see the most interesting developments happening at the intersection of technology and design-based thinking. When you pair those approaches together the real magic happens. I’d like to see more people understand the relationship between ideas, experimentation, and iteration as we move forward.
Will we all be replaced by robots by FinTECHTalents 2025?
I hope not! The world we build is entirely up to us, if it’s only about replacing all of us then I’d ask, what’s the point?