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Food, Beverage & Tobacco


Kroger testing new 'smart cart' that eliminates stopping to pay at checkout

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Kroger is testing new smart shopping cart technology in the Cincinnati area that eliminates paying at the checkout. For the past few weeks, Kroger quietly rolled out the new carts at its Madeira store, branded "KrogGo." The technology allows shoppers to load up their cart with groceries, then pay by swiping their credit or debit card at the cart, then head for the parking lot. Using artificial intelligence, the technology will enable shoppers to assemble their order without having to scan items as carts begin to recognize a box of cereal or pound of apples, according to Caper, the New York firm behind the technology. The carts include a built-in scale to measure items sold by weight and a built-in screen that can deliver shopping list recommendations, promotional offers, and wayfinding capabilities.


SoftBank's Rocky Year Ends on a Winning Streak

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

TOKYO--For a year that started out with a share crash, a record loss and a global pandemic, 2020 is turning out to be very good for SoftBank Group Corp. The Japanese technology investor, best known for its $100 billion Vision Fund and its mercurial chief executive, Masayoshi Son, this week scored an estimated $11 billion paper gain when U.S. food-delivery company DoorDash Inc. went public. It was the latest in a series of wins as soaring tech stocks pushed up the value of many of SoftBank's holdings. Cashing in on another investment, SoftBank said Friday that it agreed to sell an 80% stake in Boston Dynamics, a company known for dog-like robots that can maneuver through rooms, to Hyundai Motor Group . The deal valued the robotics company at $1.1 billion.


This futuristic grocery store uses AI to notify employees when items run out

#artificialintelligence

Walmart has transformed an ordinary grocery store into a 50,000-square-foot AI lab that tests new retail technologies in a real-world setting. The Intelligent Retail Lab is located in Levittown, New York, and is equipped with AI-powered sensors that keep track of the inventory and the freshness of the produce.


Wendy's introduces 'Never Stop Gaming' Uber Eats menu with Twitch streamers and prizes including game consoles

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Want to eat like a popular Twitch streamer? Or, perhaps, you're hungry to win a new gaming console. Wendy's and Uber Eats are teaming up to release the "Never Stop Gaming" menu and a contest where consoles and other prizes are up for grabs Tuesday through Dec. 12. The fast-food brand and on-demand delivery company announced the contest and five-day limited menu with signature meal combos from the biggest Twitch streamers – TFUE, FLIGHT, itsHafu, xChocoBars and Myth. "For every Uber Eats meal ordered from the Wendy's Never Stop Gaming menu, fans will receive an Uber Eats Prize Pass in their bag for the chance to win epic giveaways," the companies said in a news release.


How artificial intelligence may be making you buy things

#artificialintelligence

The shopping lists we used to scribble on the back of an envelope are increasingly already known by the supermarkets we frequent. Firstly via the loyalty cards we scan at checkouts, and more and more so from our online baskets, our shopping habits are no longer a secret. But now more retailers are using AI (artificial intelligence) - software systems that can learn for themselves - to try to automatically predict and encourage our very specific preferences and purchases like never before. Retail consultant Daniel Burke, of Blick Rothenberg, calls this "the holy grail... to build up a profile of customers and suggest a product before they realise it is what they wanted". So the next time you dash into your local shop to buy certain snacks and a particular wine on a Friday night, perhaps you can blame AI, and a computer that has learned all about you, for the decision.


Starship Autonomous Food Delivery Robots Deployed at University of Houston

#artificialintelligence

A fleet of 30 Starship autonomous delivery robots has been deployed at the University of Houston, home to over 53,000 students, faculty and staff. In partnership with Chartwells Higher Education, UH is the first institution of higher education in the state of Texas to offer robotic food deliveries on campus. The recipient can even track the delivery -- made to a building's nearest outdoor entrance -- in real time. "This revolutionary delivery method will make it more convenient for the campus community to take advantage of our diverse dining program from anywhere on campus while expanding the hours of operation," said Emily Messa, UH associate vice president for administration. "By opening our campus to this innovative service, which is paid for by the customers, the university didn't have to spend any money purchasing the technology, yet we're enhancing our food delivery capabilities."


A critical review on computer vision and artificial intelligence in food industry

#artificialintelligence

Food demand and sustainability to feed the growing population are explained clearly. The technological innovations including 4.0 industry revolution strengthen the agricultural sector. The usage of computer vision and artificial intelligence in the field of agriculture and food industry is deeply elaborated. Emerging technologies such as computer vision and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are estimated to leverage the accessibility of big data for active training and yielding operational real time smart machines and predictable models. This phenomenon of applying vision and learning methods for the improvement of food industry is termed as computer vision and AI driven food industry.


'Christmas slots went in five hours': how online supermarket Ocado became a lockdown winner

The Guardian

Ocado's warehouse in Erith, 15 miles east of London on the Thames estuary, is staffed by 1,050 "personal shoppers". Outnumbering them are 1,800 robots the size of small washing machines. You see them by climbing to the top level of the vast warehouse – at 564,000 sq ft, it is more than three times the size of St Peter's in Rome – where a sign tells you that photography is strictly prohibited. The online supermarket is paranoid that rivals will glimpse the technology it believes to be revolutionary. From the viewing platform you can watch these metal cubes endlessly whiz around, moving thousands of plastic crates as if they were playing an enormous game of chess. You occasionally sight bottles of bleach or rosé, packets of noodles and dog biscuits, before they are sent down to a lower level. "I find it quite mesmerising, like robotic ballet," says Mel Smith, CEO of Ocado Retail, the UK arm of the business. "The day I decided I wanted this job was when I went to [the warehouse] and thought, this is absolutely the future."


Ocado, the tech startup you thought was a supermarket

#artificialintelligence

IN A cavernous shed on an industrial park in Hampshire, hundreds of robots are at work in the "hive". In Ocado's latest Customer Fulfilment Centre (CFC), 65,000 orders a week are prepared for some of the grocer's 645,000 online customers. It is probably the most technologically advanced such centre in the world. Instead of ferrying crates on a long line of conveyor belts, as many CFCs do, it uses a three-dimensional grid system, or hive, to assemble customers' orders. Washing-machine-sized robots whizz this way and that on the top of the grid, pausing only for a second to pick up products and ferry them to "pick stations", where people put the orders together.


A Quick Introduction to Time Series Analysis

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In my first article on Time Series, I hope to introduce the basic ideas and definitions required to understand basic Time Series analysis. We will start with the essential and key mathematical definitions, which are required to implement more advanced models. The information will be introduced in a similar manner as it was in a McGill graduate course on the subject, and following the style of the textbook by Brockwell and Davis. A'Time Series' is a collection of observations indexed by time. The observations each occur at some time t, where t belongs to the set of allowed times, T. Note: T can be discrete in which case we have a discrete time series, or it could be continuous in the case of continuous time series.