Bloomberg: The Quality of Your Coffee May Soon Be Determined by a Robot

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#1: Post by vze26m98 »

Grading and cupping aren't areas where I have any proficiency, but I assume this application turns on all the usual dimensions of "AI" applied to matters of taste. Presumably product success will result in less expensive coffee of equivalent quality, for very high volume producers.

Anyone willing to guess how many Q graders this will do away with?
Marvin G Perez and Isis Almeida wrote:The days of experts gathering in a sealed-off room to sip coffee and grade beans on their color, aroma and taste may be numbered.

Demetria, a Colombian-Israeli company developed an artificial intelligence data platform that can determine the quality of beans when used with hand-held sensors. The machine will need a human to input the quality parameters first, but after that, it will be able to classify coffee before it's even roasted. The company has completed a pilot program with Carcafe, the Colombian division of Volcafe, one of the world's largest coffee traders.

A shift to computers would upend the traditional way coffee has been graded by humans, known as cupping. The well-paid and trained examiners, or Q graders, at the ICE Futures U.S. exchange in New York conduct the laborious task of determining the quality and value of the coffee beans received by the bourse. Trading houses and roasters also usually have their own graders.

(cont'd) ... by-a-robot

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#2: Post by yakster »

I like how they try to make cupping sound involved and complicated to help sell the idea of a robotic coffee quality sniffer instead of the simple process that scales well to a table full of different coffees.

They should have talked about palate fatigue and the limit to how many coffees a cupper can realistically grade in a day.

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#3: Post by learncoffee »

According to a commercial from IBM "Watson", their AI, Heineken is already doing something similar for beer. I believe this is useful for the commercial side of coffee business. For the specialty coffee, which is what most, if not all of us, are interested in, people's opinion will still be preferred.

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#4: Post by HB »

If they help weed out bad coffee, I welcome our digital overlords. :lol: From the article:
The technology could also help the exchange, which struggled to grade beans during the pandemic due to social-distancing rules. It could also help resolve quality disputes in the market, Aranha Neto said. If adopted by the exchange, traders could also potentially use the device to scan their coffee before they ship it, reducing the risk beans will fail the bourse's grading.
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