Retail


Sainsbury's taps Google Cloud for trends insights

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Sainsbury's commercial and technology teams are working with Accenture to implement machine learning processes that they say are providing the retailer with better insight into consumer behaviour. Using the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), the key aim of the collaboration is to generate new insights on what consumers want and the trends driving their eating habits. By tapping into data from multiple structured and unstructured sources, the supermarket chain has developed predictive analytics models that it uses to adjust inventory based on the trends it spots. According to Alan Coad, managing director of Google Cloud in the UK and Ireland, the platform can "ingest, clean and classify that data", while a custom-built front-end interface for staff can be used "to seamlessly navigate through a variety of filters and categories" to generate the relevant insights. Phil Jordan, group CIO of Sainsbury's, said: "The grocery market continues to change rapidly. "We know our customers want high quality at great value and that finding innovative and distinctive products is increasingly important to them.


The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity: Amy Webb: 9781541773752: Amazon.com: Books

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"Rather than questioning the character of thinking machines, futurist Amy Webb turns a critical eye on the humans behind the computers. With AI's development overwhelmingly driven by nine tech powerhouses, she asks: Is it possible for the technology to serve the best interests of everyone?"―Wired "Webb's assessments are based on analyses of patent filings, policy briefings, interviews and other sources. She paints vivid pictures of how AI could benefit the average person, via precision medicine or smarter dating apps...Her forecasts are provocative and unsettlingly plausible."―Science News "Instead of predicting the future, Webb lays out scenarios for optimistic, pragmatic, and catastrophic outcomes -- all extrapolated from current facts. However impractical you may find the idea of a common Apple-Amazon operating system named Applezon, considering potential scenarios is a fantastically healthy exercise, because anyone who tells you they know how AI is going to turn out is lying."―VentureBeat


Exploring images on social media using Amazon Rekognition and Amazon Athena Amazon Web Services

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If you're like most companies, you wish to better understand your customers and your brand image. You'd like to track the success of your marketing campaigns, and the topics of interest--or frustration--for your customers. Social media promises to be a rich source of this kind of information, and many companies are beginning to collect, aggregate, and analyze the information from platforms like Twitter. However, more and more social media conversations center around images and video; on one recent project, approximately 30% of all tweets collected included one or more images. These images contain relevant information that is not readily accessible without analysis.


You Look Like a Thing and I Love You: How Artificial Intelligence Works and Why It's Making the World a Weirder Place: Janelle Shane: 9780316525244: Amazon.com: Books

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One of the most anticipated books of the fall! - Adam Grant, Ars Technica, Philadelphia Inquirer, Next Big Idea Club, BookPage "If you're terrified that artificial intelligence is going to take over the world, you clearly haven't asked a computer to write pick-up lines, name pets, or do anything else social or creative. Janelle Shane has, and she's the perfect tour guide to explain what machine learning can and can't do--and why it's already affecting your life. I can't think of a better way to learn about artificial intelligence, and I've never had so much fun along the way."―Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals "While everyone else is making questionable predictions about the future of AI, Janelle Shane cuts through the fog by telling you how AI actually works. And even better: she makes it fun!"―Zach Weinersmith, creator of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal and New York Times bestselling author of Soonish "An incredibly accessible, informative, and hilarious look at how the AIs deciding things around us operate."―Ryan


Pensa Systems raises $10 million to deploy inventory-tracking drones in retail stores

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Figuring out which products are in stock and which stock is likely to run low is a never-ending battle, as shoppers spend an estimated 40 billion hours picking things off shelves. It's also error-prone -- employees regularly misplace an estimated one in 10 items, contributing to global retail revenue losses exceeding $1 trillion. But drones hold the answer to the inventory tracking problem, if you ask serial entrepreneur Richard Schwartz. So strong is he in this conviction that he cofounded Pensa Systems, which develops inventory systems equipped with computer vision algorithms that "understand" what's on store shelves. The Austin startup today announced the close of a $10 million follow-on seed funding round that brings its total raised to $17.2 million, and according to investor and Pensa advisory board member James McCann, the future is looking bright.


6 excellent early Black Friday TV deals you can get right now at Walmart and Amazon

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Save big on TV brands like Samsung, Vizio, and more when you shop pre-Black Friday sales. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from USA TODAY's newsroom and any business incentives. Black Friday is still over a week out, but already major retailers like Amazon and Walmart are offering incredible savings on some of the most popular TV brands out there--with one model clocking in below $250. If you're hoping to get a new TV during the holiday season, these deals are some of the best we've seen yet.


The citizen data scientist's time has arrived

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Artificial intelligence and machine learning are pivotal technologies for businesses, allowing them to dig into their data to extract outcomes, predictions, and results valuable enough to steer business decisions and powerful enough to deliver actual ROI. Just take a look at how the data from millions of daily sale transactions have improved customer experience for millions of Walgreens Boots shoppers through their Advantage program; how Schneider Electric is no longer spending $20K a day on maintenance costs; the way global fashion retailer ASOS is turning gigabytes of data into better recommendations for its 19.2 million customers and boosting sales; or the countless other examples demonstrating AI's ability to deliver powerful business outcomes. As AI and machine learning become integral to every part of a business, it's essential that all employees have access to the tools and solutions that machine learning offers. It's clear that business domain experts – those with the business knowledge to identify essential challenges and opportunities – are in critical need of access to these tools. They don't have the technical expertise.


7 key ways AI transforms promotional trade funds management - Symphony RetailAI

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CPG executives are painfully aware that they're investing billions of dollars in trade promotions each year, but as many as 72% fail to break even¹. It's clear that promotions have become more complex and harder to manage as CPGs must respond to changing consumer behavior, increasing demands from retailers and blurring of physical and online channels. Traditional forecasting and promotion-planning systems are unable to provide real-time, accurate insights to help managers understand the big picture. Below, we'll explore seven ways in which AI can help CPG companies more effectively plan promotional events, measure outcomes and make adjustments. You can read more in the companion paper on how AI transforms promotional trade funds management.


3 tech tools to transform customer experience and maximize engagement

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What if you could increase interaction with your brand, boost sales and win the loyalty of an ever-expanding customer base? While there may not be a silver bullet to make that happen in the blink of an eye, several emerging technologies are elevating customer experience in ways that can directly impact your bottom line. You've heard the buzzwords: AI, AR, VR … there are enough acronyms flying around to send even the most seasoned marketer to a search engine. How is an ecommerce business supposed to keep up? Always start with your goals.


10 tech predictions for 2020 and beyond

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Gartner has unveiled its biggest predictions for IT organisations and users for 2020 and beyond. These predictions analyse how technology is changing society and the expectations of users. "Technology is changing the notion of what it means to be human," said Daryl Plummer, VP and Fellow at Gartner. "CIOs in end-user organizations must understand the effects of the change and reset expectations for what technology means." "This year's predictions help us move beyond thinking about mere notions of technology adoption and draw us more deeply into issues surrounding what it means to be human in the digital world," said Plummer.