Artificial intelligence (AI) has gradually become a key element in the modern technology-driven world. Like other industries, artificial intelligence is widely known in the retail industry.
Artificial intelligence is used to define the intelligence displayed by machines. With AI, machines can store previous empirical data, adapt to new inputs, and perform human-like tasks. By combining large amounts of data, iterative processing, and detailed algorithms, AI can quickly learn from patterned data. If properly integrated, artificial intelligence can become an important part of the retail business.
AI may be helpful when it comes to day-to-day task management and gaining insights about customers. Using AI in retail stores can also help business owners with time management. This can also help customize the customer’s shopping experience while creating a better business due to customer interactions. This, in turn, helps businesses gain more customer insights.
“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race. It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever-increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”
— Stephen Hawking told the BBC
In addition, the use of such technologies in the retail industry will leave less room for error. It will also help owners keep an eye on shoplifting, as each item will be recorded in the store database. AI-operated retail stores can work 24 * 7 without manual labor, thereby bringing more profits to the retail business.
Although still far from AI-enabled retail stores, the world’s two largest retailers, Amazon and Wal-Mart, have launched stores that rely entirely on artificial intelligence.
In 2018, Amazon announced a series of convenience stores called Amazon Go, partially automated. These stores use a number of different technologies, such as computer vision, deep learning algorithms, and sensor fusion. There are multiple cameras on the store’s ceiling and weight sensors on the store’s shelves. These weight sensors help detect items that customers take away and automatically add those items to customers’ virtual shopping carts. Amazon Go launched on January 22, 2018, and has 18 stores in the United States.
Meanwhile, Wal-Mart launched the New York-based Intelligent Retail Lab (IRL) In April 2019, which is equipped with artificial intelligence cameras, interactive displays, and massive data centers. Walmart also uses the store as a laboratory to explore the future use of artificial intelligence in the retail industry.
While AI-run stores are good for everyone, the cost behind the project can be a nightmare. The cost of implementing high-tech equipment can be high, especially for small businesses, and it can increase dependence on computers. However, the benefits of this technology are much higher and can be ignored.
Including artificial intelligence in the retail industry sounds like science fiction. However, the efforts and technological advancements of these large retailers mean that AI-operated retail stores will become part of our future.