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Robot Vacuums Don't Need a Lot of Frills. Try This Powerful Budget Model, Now on Sale.

Slate

Slate has relationships with various online retailers. If you buy something through our links, Slate may earn an affiliate commission. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change. All prices were up to date at the time of publication. Why you want this: As robot vacuums have become increasingly popular, we've had to accept that they are not wholly autonomous.


CES 2021: 'The run rate of the company going forward will be faster forever,' says Walmart CEO McMillon

ZDNet

Walmart is focused on things such as "what the future of AI will mean, or how robotics will change our business, and how 5G will change how people want to live and shop," says CEO Doug McMillon. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon was the big keynoter at the Consumer Electronics Show 2021, in a half an hour segment that covered a range of broad topics such as equality and leadership. He was hosted by Tiffany Moore, senior Vice President, political and industry affairs for the Consumer Technology Association. CTA president Gary Shapiro set the context: 11,000 stores in 26 countries, more than 2 million employees globally. McMillan started out a wage earner thirty years ago at the retail giant, loading trucks.


The 5 best Amazon deals you can get this Tuesday

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. It's no secret that Amazon is a one-stop-shop for everything from electronics to at-home essentials. As any good deal-hunter knows, however, it's about more than just convenience: The retailer also reigns supreme in the sales department. Between its daily price drops and best-of-web markdowns, Amazon doesn't skimp on the savings--hence why we're coming at you with five more incredible Amazon deals. Get expert shopping advice delivered to your phone.


Retailers Say Skip Returns of Unwanted Items

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

Retailers have a new message for consumers looking to return an item: Keep it. Inc., Walmart Inc. and other companies are using artificial intelligence to decide whether it makes economic sense to process a return. For inexpensive items or large ones that would incur hefty shipping fees, it is often cheaper to refund the purchase price and let customers keep the products. The relatively new approach, popularized by Amazon and a few other chains, is being adopted more broadly during the Covid-19 pandemic, as a surge in online shopping forces companies to rethink how they handle returns. "We are getting so many inquiries about this that you will see it take off in coming months," said Amit Sharma, chief executive of Narvar Inc., which processes returns for retailers.


Google's second-gen Nest Mini is on sale for almost half off at Walmart

Mashable

As of Jan. 7, Walmart has the second-gen Google Nest Mini on sale for only $24.98 -- that's 49% off its $49 MSRP. Last year saw Big Tech duking it out for smart speaker superiority as Apple, Amazon, and Google each released new additions to their respective lineups. But for the ultimate deal on such a device, we're going to throw it way back to 2019. That's the year Google released its second-gen Google Nest Mini, a small-but-mighty smart speaker that normally retails for $49. For a limited time, Walmart's got it on sale for just $24.98 (or almost half off) -- that's only a few bucks away from its all-time-low Black Friday pricing of $18.98.


Podcast: Attention shoppers–you're being tracked

MIT Technology Review

In some stores, sophisticated systems are tracking customers in almost every imaginable way, from recognizing their faces to gauging their age, their mood, and virtually gussying them up with makeup. The systems rarely ask for people's permission, and for the most part they don't have to. In our season 1 finale, we look at the explosion of AI and face recognition technologies in retail spaces, and what it means for the future of shopping. This episode was reported and produced by Jennifer Strong, Anthony Green, Tate Ryan-Mosley, Emma Cillekens and Karen Hao. Strong: Retailers have been using face recognition and AI tracking technologies for years. And what if you could know about the presence of violent criminals before they act? With Face First you can stop crime before it starts.] It detects faces, voices, objects and claims it can analyze behavior. But face recognition systems have a well-documented history of misidentifying women and people of color. And they're trying to sell it and impose it on the entirety of the country?] Strong: This is Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at a 2019 congressional hearing on facial recognition.


Women fight over PS5 at Walmart, drawing crowd

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. Two women were caught on video fighting over a PS5 video game console at Walmart. The video, which has since gone viral on social media, was taken at a Walmart location in Charlotte, North Carolina, according to TMZ. "What the f–k are you gonna do?" one woman can be heard saying in the video as she takes off her purse and jacket. One man can be heard yelling, "Call the cops!" as a crowd gathered around the two brawling women.


Walmart will test driverless delivery trucks in Arkansas next year

Engadget

In 2019, Walmart started working with a company called Gatik to test autonomous delivery trucks on a two-mile route between a fulfillment center and a store in Bentonville, Arkansas. After those vehicles logged more than 70,000 miles with a human driver there to make sure nothing went wrong, Walmart and Gatik say they're ready for a new challenge. Next year, there won't be any human drivers in the trucks. That milestone will make Gatik one of the first companies in the space to operate a fully autonomous route in this way. As the startup itself is quick to point, it has its simplified approach to thank for the achievement.


The Race to Get a PlayStation 5 Is the Year's Best Game

WIRED

During the waning hours of Thanksgiving Day, I sat in front of a computer screen with a full stomach and a long list of work projects splayed across my computer desktop. The gap between what I was accomplishing and what I hoped to could be explained by three open tabs in my web browser. One showed the Twitter feed of @Wario64, an account that posts new video game releases and deals. The other two were parked at Walmart.com and Target.com. All were dedicated to my participation in a new sport that emerged during the second half of November 2020: the race to "secure the bag," and purchase the elusive Sony PlayStation 5. Highlights from secure-the-bag can be found all over social media.


How is machine learning used in retail? - Rapidops

#artificialintelligence

When we look down the memory lane with technological viewpoints, things have evolved significantly. Customer data will keep playing an important role in predictive analytics. Businesses have now started relying on machine learning services for analyzing the shopping habits for optimizing the supply chain and personalizing the offers for their customers. While predictive analytics requires humans to find statistical trends in data, machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence (AI) that uses computer algorithms to find data trends. Computers can then autonomously make predictions based on those trends (or patterns) -- effectively "learning" without being programmed for a straightforward task.