A little more than a year ago, Amazon announced a new grocery store concept that promised customers a human-less shopping experience. Customers would simply walk in, grab the items they need, and leave without waiting in a line or going through a checkout--letting sensors, computer vision, and machine learning quietly do all the work to capture, calculate, and charge you for your purchases. With much fanfare, Amazon opened a trial store in Seattle. Then, headlines went quiet as the company hit unexpected technical challenges, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall). Last month, speculation of Amazon Go's rollout reignited when the company began hiring store-related personnel.
Remember the last burger you really enjoyed – try to summon up its rich, juicy taste in your mind and its chewy, firm-yet-soft-yet-crunchy texture. Try to recall how the taste filled your mouth with flavour as you bit into it. Remember how satisfying it was. Now think about how it might have tasted without any meat in it. Farming the meat for beef burgers takes a hefty toll on the environment around the world.
Rewired, a robotics-focused "venture studio" based in London and Lausanne, Switzerland, just struck a partnership with a company called Aromyx, which is bringing two long-neglected senses into the digital world. Based in Palo Alto, Aromyx develops technologies that enable scientific, reproducible measurement and digitization of taste and scent. They've commercialized the human olfactory system. Digitally replicating taste and smell in a repeatable way has been difficult for engineers, biologists, and chemists, in part because it requires a complex coordination of all three fields. But Aromyx, working with scientists at Stanford, has figured out how to reproduce the biochemical signals that our sensing organs send to the brain and measure those signals in a meaningful way.
Forward by the team at Go Wine: This interview with John Seaton at Cendyn shows how Customer Relationship Management in 2018, is being impacted by artificial intelligence, globalization travel trends and more. In your opinion, what are the top three trends that hoteliers should be aware of going into 2018? A. The evolving nature of the guest experience and keeping up with guests' needs and expectations is a huge focus for the hospitality industry. For a hotel, managing the customer relationship is one of the most critical elements of gaining and increasing loyalty, and yet can be the most difficult for hotels to master, as customers interact with them via a burgeoning number of contact points: email, mobile, social media, at the front desk and throughout the hotel property. Never before has technology played a more important role in improving what is ultimately the human experience of hospitality, both in terms of curating and providing it, but also in the way that customers express their gratitude for that experience in the form of loyalty. B. Secondly, understanding the capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) and how that can focus and positively affect the interaction between the guest experience and the hotel.
In the business world, there are many factors to consider when making the optimal decision. There are so many data points to consider that it becomes a combinatorial problem. For example, consider when and how to raise room rates across a hotel chain based on locations and current events or how best to optimize airline ticket prices given fluctuating fuel costs, factoring in seasonal conditions and local and/or global events. This flows over into our social and personal lives, as we rightly expect to find the nearest coffee shops located to the nearest public libraries or where to buy the cheapest gas closest to the supermarket that stocks the groceries we need. Decision optimization (DO) is the prescriptive element of the data science lifecycle and is key to delivering artificial intelligence, as machine learning (ML) and DO have somewhat of a symbiotic relationship.
Food group Danone is working with ToolsGroup on AI-enhanced software to improve the supply chain. Forecast error is down 20%. Product expiry is down 30 per cent. And there is a 55 per cent improvement in net uplift from promotions. These new beers are courtesy of London-based IntelligentX brewery which uses feedback to alter the recipe according to reinforcement learning and Bayesian optimisation system.
Tesla's Semi has a famous new customer: Budweiser. SEE ALSO: Tesla switches on the world's largest lithium ion battery Anheuser-Busch, which makes the über patriotic lager, just announced it had reserved 40 of Elon Musk's all-electric big rigs. So it looks like the company's famous Clydesdales will have to make some extra room in the stables for the all-electric trucks. The company claims the order is one of the largest placed for the trucks since reservations were opened on Nov. 17, when Musk unveiled the design. The all-electric fleet is meant to help Anheuser-Busch in its efforts to cut its carbon footprint by 30 percent by 2025.
The San Francisco–based accelerator IndieBio's Demo Day is delightfully awkward. Finally, with the room settled and the house lights turned down, the CEO of each of the 12 science-focused startups in the program steps to the stage, stumbles through a breathtakingly dense five-minute pitch of mind-bending products like 3-D-printed kidneys, lab-grown fish, and pheromone-based insecticide, and then asks for funding. The halting presentations are symptomatic of the program at IndieBio, which strives to turn scientists with big ideas into successful CEOs within four months. So this September, at IndieBio's Demo Day (the three-year-old accelerator's fifth fundraising event), it was staggering when Matías Muchnick, in a Tasmanian Devil–adorned Hawaiian shirt, gave a clear, concise, funny presentation about the way his company, NotCo, would change the food industry. Most of the IndieBio companies are speculative (the 3-D-printed kidney could be available in seven to 10 years), but NotCo entered the accelerator with a product ready for market.
When David Godsman joined Coca-Cola as chief digital officer nearly a year ago, his remit was to transform the traditionally brick-and-mortar business into a "consumer-centric beverage brand" for the digital era. Godsman--who spent the past several years in digital banking at Bank of America before heading up the company's payments and commerce unit--is the first person in the role for the beverage brand. Coca-Cola is just one of many brands across a variety of industries grappling with how to serve consumers through new digital platforms. Using data, artificial intelligence and connected devices, it's trying to rapidly test and enact new customer experiences and services. "This is a large digital transformation exclusive to the Coca-Cola Company," he said.
April 27, 2017, people walk past an Amazon Go store, currently open only to Amazon employees, in Seattle. Amazon Go shops are convenience stores that don't use cashiers or checkout lines but use a tracking system that of sensors, algorithms, and cameras to determine what a customer has bought. Amazon's nearly $14 billion deal for Whole Foods isn't just about getting more than 460 grocery stores. Ultimately, Amazon wants to sell Amazon and Whole Foods shoppers alike, even more, goods and services, including stuff they might not even realize they need. In the world of customer service, we're experiencing the rise of chatbots, virtual digital assistants, and artificial intelligence (AI) agents, answering basic queries which allow humans to tackle more complex problems and improve the speed and efficiency of decisions.