If you haven't wasted the last few years searching for evidence on extraterritorial life in the distant corners of the world you'd have surely heard about Artificial Intelligence or AI! Together with Big Data, this is transforming the world. In a world where access to data has become easier, computing power is at historical lows on the cost side and algorithms have been programmed to think and react like a human mind, the power of AI is truly being unleashed. The impact of AI is being majorly felt in the retail industry where it is creating a store like an experience on online platforms and at the same time arming brick and mortar stores with technology that narrows the game between them and online retailers. AI in shopping was first tried in the world of e-commerce and this wasn't surprising as online retailers had been at the forefront of adopting new technology. But the brick and mortar stores have been slowly catching up.
As the modern world seeks innovation and convenience, retail providers are faced with the new challenge -- to keep up with the trend or fall behind. Due to this, many retailers are delving into the latest technologies that seek to address the new needs of their businesses, and that may mean looking toward enterprise software development. Let's look at how retailers are innovating and dive deeper into their artificial intelligence and robotics solutions. According to Statista, by 2021 online e-commerce sales are set to total a record of $4.8 trillion (USD). Meanwhile, in 2018 this amount was estimated at a lower $2.8 trillion.
Petuum, an artificial intelligence platform company, announced Petuum Neurobots, a series of intelligent process automation (IPA) tools that provide cutting-edge AI capabilities to robotic process automation (RPA). This enables enterprise customers to quickly and cost-effectively deploy powerful RPA bots with the most advanced AI and machine learning (ML) technology. "We believe AI technology must be accessible to all companies of all sizes across different industries to achieve better business results. Neurobots are a critical part of Petuum's larger strategy to provide state-of-the-art AI that will transform RPA bots into intelligent agents that are cognitive, able to learn, think, and collaborate (with human and other bots), and therefore realize fully-operationalized business automation," said Dr. Eric Xing, founder and CEO of Petuum. The first Neurobots introduced include Kaibot for interactive conversational applications such as chatbots, Chimebot for automatic speech recognition, Chicbot for fashion applications and Pixbot for image understanding and enhancements.
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Symphony RetailAI, a provider of AI-enabled solutions for retailers and CPG manufacturers, has announced that its annual conference, Xcelerate Retail Forum, will this year take place on 17th-18th September in Paris and 8th-9th October in Dallas. The focus of the 2019 event will be on the capabilities of AI in the retail sector, helping attendees to identify new revenue growth opportunities through the use of the technology. Xcelerate 2019 will also provide a platform for Symphony to demonstrate CINDE, an AI-enabled decision coach for retailers. "The emergence of artificial intelligence as the most powerful innovation for identifying and realising opportunities for revenue growth is undeniable," says Dr. Pallab Chatterjee, Chairman and CEO, Symphony RetailAI. "The Xcelerate Retail Forum introduces unique perspectives and actionable recommendations from industry pioneers already using AI-enabled, role-based solutions. Attendees will leave the event with a clear understanding of new approaches that drive revenue growth, improve margins and increase productivity through the power of AI."
By now, most of us are comfortable with the idea that artificial intelligence (AI) is here to stay and that it holds enormous potential to change the way the world works. However, to the average person, the conversation can seem dominated by visions of the future, with experts keen to discuss what AI will do, rather than what it does right now. AI is making a practical impact as we speak, and for industries such as retail, it is already forming a fundamental part of a business strategy. AI learns from data and in particular, it learns how to predict. These predictions can be used in many applications and then integrated into business systems and processes to automate and truly harness the power of AI.
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Over the past 15 years, the traditional retail model has been dramatically disrupted by online retail. With the introduction of online retail, shopping is gradually being transformed from an offline activity to an online one. That was the first retail disruption, but it's not the last. Increasingly online retailers and offline retailers are evolving to provide an immersive, seamless, and personalised shopping experience. Customers don't want a fully digital experience while shopping; rather they want a digital shopping experience that is so seamless as to not seem like a shopping experience at all.
Nearly a third of the world's food supply gets thrown out -- from produce surplus in farmers' fields to expired products discarded by retailers to leftovers. That's the issue Timothy Richards, the Morrison Chair of Agribusiness in the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, will be trying to solve with a new grant from the USDA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (NIFA). "Food waste occurs at virtually all stages of the supply chain from the farmer to the retailer to the consumer -- resulting in the disposal of potentially usable food in nearly every sector of the food system in the distribution channel between farmers and consumers," Richards said. The goal of the research is to combine grocers' inventory with machine learning algorithms to develop a better system for matching supply to consumer demand fluctuations. This would ensure customers get what they want without the need for excess food.