Armand Gilinsky
April 1, 2024

The word for 2024: Contemplation

“Contemplation,” to my way of thinking at least, is a deep and prolonged thought or reflection on a particular subject or matter. It involves focused attention, introspection, and often a meditative state of mind where one ponders deeply about various aspects of an idea, situation, or concept.

  1. Mental activity: In a general sense, contemplation can simply denote the act of thoughtful observation or consideration. It may involve analyzing different perspectives, weighing options, or evaluating the implications of a particular decision or action.
  2. Philosophical and spirituality: In philosophical and spiritual traditions, contemplation often refers to a form of meditation or prayerful reflection aimed at gaining deeper insights into the nature of existence, truth, or divine matters. It’s a way to connect with one’s inner self or the higher power.
  3. Aesthetics: In the context of art and aesthetics, contemplation might refer to the act of deeply engaging with a piece of art, literature, or music. It involves immersing oneself in the work, reflecting on its meaning, symbolism, or emotional resonance.
  4. Ethics and morality: Contemplation can also relate to ethical or moral deliberation. For instance, a person might engage in contemplation when reflecting on moral dilemmas, trying to discern the right course of action based on principles, values, or consequences.

Robotic and AI-controlled bottling lines at Brewery Huyghe, Ghent, Belgium. Photo credit Armand Gilinsky, Jr.

Digitization of Production and Services

Armand Gilinsky
October 24, 2023

The digitization of production and services, often referred to as digital transformation, can bring about a wide range of benefits for businesses, organizations, and individuals.

These benefits can vary depending on the specific context and industry, but here are a dozen advantages that are currently expected from the digitization of services:

  1. Improved efficiency and productivity: Digitization automates manual processes and reduces the need for paper-based work, leading to streamlined workflows and increased operational efficiency. Tasks that used to take hours or days can be accomplished in minutes, allowing employees to focus on more strategic and value-added activities.
  2. Enhanced customer experience: Digital services often provide greater convenience and accessibility to customers. Online platforms, self-service portals, and mobile apps make it easier for customers to interact with businesses, access information, make purchases, and receive support, leading to a more positive and seamless experience.
  3. Increased accessibility and reach: Digital services can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, allowing organizations to reach a global audience. This expanded reach can lead to new markets, customers, and business opportunities.
  4. Data-driven insights: Digitization generates vast amounts of data that can be analyzed to gain insights into customer behavior, market trends, and operational performance. These insights enable informed decision-making and help organizations identify areas for improvement.
  5. Cost savings: Digitization can lead to cost savings in various ways. Reduced paperwork, streamlined processes, and optimized resource allocation can all contribute to lower operational costs. Additionally, digital communication methods can reduce expenses related to traditional communication channels.
  6. Faster response times: Digital communication and automation enable quicker responses to customer inquiries, issues, and market changes. This agility can give organizations a competitive edge by allowing them to adapt to changing circumstances more rapidly.
  7. Innovation and adaptability: Digitization encourages innovation by enabling the development of new products, services, and business models. It also makes it easier for organizations to pivot and adapt to changing market conditions.
  8. Data security and compliance: While digital services bring new security challenges, they also offer the ability to implement robust security measures to protect sensitive data. Additionally, digitization can help with compliance efforts by facilitating data tracking and reporting.
  9. Reduced environmental impact: Digitization often leads to reduced paper usage and energy consumption, contributing to a more environmentally sustainable operation.
  10. Collaboration and communication: Digital tools facilitate remote collaboration and communication among teams, partners, and stakeholders. This is especially relevant in today’s globalized and remote work environment.
  11. Personalization and customization: Digitization allows organizations to gather and analyze customer data to offer personalized experiences and tailor-made solutions. This can lead to stronger customer loyalty and satisfaction.
  12. Disruption and competitive advantage: Organizations that embrace digitization can disrupt traditional markets and gain a competitive advantage by being at the forefront of technological advancements.

It’s important to note that successful digitization requires careful planning, investment in technology, change management, and a strategic approach. While the benefits are significant, challenges such as data security concerns, technology adoption, and workforce reskilling should also be taken into consideration.

A crucial component of sustainable development is low or no-carbon agricultural production. In order for low carbon agricultural production to become more widespread, however, technological innovations in production will be needed (Luo et. al., 2023). The introduction of new technologies poses challenges for small-to-medium producers that typically lack the resources and time to cope with technological transformation, which involves not only the assimilation of new technology in organizational processes but also business model innovation (Pellegrini, et al., 2023). New technologies such as blockchains for the digitization of the agri-food sector may be a solution to address structural issues such as lack of competitiveness and innovation. Several challenges that need to be addressed for a widespread adoption could take place, such as data recorded on the blockchain, lack of standards, limited scope of projects, and integration of data capture automatically or with other technologies like RFID and AI (Martinez-Castañeda & Feijoo, 2023).

AI (Artificial Intelligence) and digital transformation technologies are already being adopted by the wine industry to enhance various aspects of production, distribution, marketing, and customer experiences. Here are eleven ways in which AI and digital transformation are making an impact in the wine industry:

  1. Precision viticulture: AI and sensor technologies are used to monitor and analyze vineyard conditions, including soil moisture, temperature, and humidity. This data helps vineyard managers optimize irrigation, pest control, and harvesting, leading to improved grape quality and yield.
  2. Quality control and predictive analytics: AI algorithms can analyze data from multiple sources, including weather patterns, soil conditions, and historical data, to predict grape quality and wine characteristics. This enables winemakers to make informed decisions about harvesting and blending.
  3. Wine production: AI-powered software can assist winemakers in fermentation management, grape sorting via optical scanning, predicting fermentation outcomes, and adjusting variables such as temperature and humidity to achieve desired flavors and aromas.
  4. Personalized marketing and sales: Wineries use data analytics to better understand customer preferences and behaviors. This information is used to create personalized marketing campaigns, recommend wines to customers, and improve customer engagement.
  5. Supply chain optimization: Digital technologies help streamline the supply chain, from grape sourcing to distribution. AI-driven demand forecasting and inventory management systems ensure that the right wines are available in the right quantities at the right time.
  6. Label recognition and authentication: AI-powered image recognition can be used to detect counterfeit wines by analyzing labels and packaging. This helps ensure the authenticity of premium wines and protects consumers from purchasing fake products.
  7. Wine tasting and recommendations: AI algorithms can analyze taste profiles and preferences to recommend wines that match individual tastes. Mobile apps and platforms offer virtual wine tastings and provide real-time feedback to consumers.
  8. Wine education and training: Digital platforms and apps offer educational resources for consumers, enthusiasts, and industry professionals. These resources can include virtual tours of vineyards, online wine courses, and interactive wine tasting experiences.
  9. Wine cellar management: AI-powered apps and platforms help wine collectors and enthusiasts manage their wine cellars, track inventory, and receive recommendations for optimal drinking windows.
  10. Sustainability and environmental monitoring: AI and IoT (Internet of Things) devices can be used to monitor and manage energy consumption, water usage, and other sustainability factors in vineyards and wineries.
  11. Market insights and trends: AI can analyze large datasets from social media, reviews, and market trends to provide insights into consumer preferences and emerging wine trends.

While the wine industry is traditionally associated with craftsmanship and tradition, the adoption of AI and digital technologies is already helping wineries improve efficiency, quality, and customer engagement (Dressler & Paunovic, 2021). However, it’s important to note that technology adoption varies among wineries, and not all businesses in the industry may have fully embraced these advancements.

Winemaking and quality control of the product will also benefit from AI. As of this writing, these ten wine businesses have moved to the forefront of adopting AI and digital transformation:

  1. E. & J. Gallo Winery: has been investing in data analytics and AI to improve its supply chain management, wine production, marketing strategies, and customer engagement.
  2. Treasury Wine Estates: has been utilizing AI and data analytics to enhance its understanding of consumer preferences, optimize its product portfolio, and improve sales and distribution strategies.
  3. Vintrace: offers winery management software that integrates data from various stages of wine production, helping wineries streamline their operations and make data-driven decisions.
  4. Wine-Searcher: a platform that uses AI to help consumers find specific wines and compare prices across various retailers. The platform also provides insights into wine market trends and pricing.
  5. Vivelytics: provides an AI-powered platform that analyzes wine labels to offer information about wine characteristics, ratings, and food pairings. This helps consumers make informed choices.
  6. MyOeno: A connected device that uses AI to analyze wine samples and provide real-time information about the wine’s chemical composition, flavor profile, and aging potential.
  7. Enolytics: Enolytics is a data analytics company that focuses on the wine industry, providing insights to wineries and retailers about consumer preferences, market trends, and sales strategies.
  8. Wine Ring: uses AI and machine learning to analyze consumer preferences and help users discover new wines based on their taste profiles and preferences.
  9. Vinsent: offers an AI-powered virtual sommelier that recommends wines to customers based on their tastes and preferences. The platform also provides information about food pairings and tasting notes.
  10. Bright Cellars: uses AI algorithms to curate personalized wine selections for its subscribers based on their taste preferences, helping consumers discover new wines they might enjoy.

In fall 2022, researchers from the California State University received NSF grant funds to foster forthcoming investigations in robotics and food preparation. Cornell University researchers have also investigated how robotics can be expected to impact the wine industry.

In March 2023, the Bordeaux, France start-up Winespace rolled out a solution for analyzing tasting comments, enhanced by AI. AI is rapidly evolving as a tool that allows the winegrower to know, year after year, the typicality of his production, and to make it readable to buyers or consumers. AI also makes it possible to probe in real time the characteristics of a wine, defined by several tasters, French or of different nationalities. 

It’s important to note that the adoption of AI and digital transformation can vary based on the size of the winery, market trends, and individual strategies. As the wine industry continues to evolve, more businesses are likely to embrace these technologies to enhance their operations, customer experiences, and overall competitiveness.

I’ve gathered that there are shortages in skilled labor for the production side, not to mention dramatic increases in labor and equipment costs, shortages in packaging, needs for better inventory management and control, etc. 

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On the marketing side, there may be tremendous opportunities implementing AI for marketing and promotion, i.e., customer acquisition, retention, and database management, as well as in packaging using augmented reality to give prospective consumers an “experience” when deciding among the multitude of bottles on a supermarket wine wall.

To my mind, investments in research and development of AI and robotics will become an absolutely critical, cutting-edge topic in the agriculture-related industries.

For further reading

Dressler, M., & Paunovic, I. (2021). Sensing technologies, roles and technology adoption strategies for digital transformation of grape harvesting in SME wineries. Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity, 7(2), 123. doi:

Martínez-Castañeda, M., & Feijoo, C. (2023). Use of blockchain in the agri-food value chain: State of the art in Spain and some lessons from the perspective of public support. Telecommunications Policy47(6),

Pellegrini, G., de Mattos, C. S., Otter, V., & Hagelaar, G. (2023). Exploring how EU agri-food SMEs approach technology-driven business model innovation. International Food & Agribusiness Management Review26(3), 577–595.

Luo, J., Hu, M., Huang, M., & Bai, Y. (2023). How does innovation consortium promote low-carbon agricultural technology innovation: An evolutionary game analysis. Journal of Cleaner Production384

Five Trends for a Better Normal

Armand Gilinsky
October 10, 2023

Hello!  I will be covering these five topics this fall:

The path forward.
The path forward. Photo credit Armand Gilinsky, Jr.
  1. Digitization of production and services:
    Implementation of: AI, robotics, natural language processing, machine learning, optical scanning and facial recognition, and the major sectors that could benefit
  2. Deglobalization:
    Infrastructure and supply chain reconfiguration…industrials, construction, materials, mining
  3. Decarbonization:
    Energy (both green and carbon), MLPs, EV, batteries, minerals, mining, ‘internet of things,’ smart highways
  4. Weaponization:
    Defense/cybersecurity, space, satellite surveillance
  5. Human condition:
    Biotech/genomics, demographics/residential housing

More about the first topic, digitization of production and services, will come in the next blog post.