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AI might concoct your next perfume

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·Contributing Writer
·1 min read
In this article:
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  • IBM
  • SY1.DE

Perfumers look out: IBM Research partnered up with one of the top producers of flavors and fragrances, Symrise, to create an perfume-concocting AI. Named Philyra, after the Greed goddess of fragrance, it uses machine learning to sift through thousands of ingredients, formulas and industry trends to derive what IBM considers to be unique combinations. IBM is leveraging the AI to help perfumers design the next great scent rather than a machine that will replace experts of the human nose.

Philyra looks at thousands of formulas and raw materials to identify patterns and new combinations to find a potential gap in the market and fill it with a new scent. It finds alternative raw materials, deduces the dosage based on human usage patterns and how humans tend to respond before comparing it to existing fragrances. This wide-sweep instant analysis can either really help perfumers, or give them a run for their money.

Philyra is currently working on two perfumes that are set to launch in mid-2019 for Brazilian brand O Boticário. Both fragrances were tweaked slightly by a master perfumer to ensure a certain note was emphasized and that it stuck to the skin long enough. Symrise also plans to distribute this technology to its master perfumers around the world and to its Perfumery School to help train students.

But beyond making you smell better, IBM believes the technology can aid in other uses, like flavors, cosmetics adhesives, lubricants and construction materials.

Considering that AIs are already beating humans in Go, DotA 2, and reading tests, it's only a matter of time before robots will be winning baking and fragrance competitions.