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Singapore sends 'robot couriers' out for delivery

ZDNet

Autonomous robots are hitting the streets of Singapore in a one-year pilot to facilitate on-demand food and grocery deliveries. The Singapore government hopes the trial will lead to a wider deployment of the drones to provide consumers with more flexible delivery services. Currently underway in Punggol, the one-tests would enable residents in the area to choose when they would like their items delivered, rather than accommodating the online retailer's fixed delivery schedule. Shoppers at the supermarket, for instance, could drop off their purchases at a concierge counter and arrange for these to be delivered to their residential apartment at a time they desired, and continue with their shopping or dining. Perishables including food and flowers as well as some controlled items such as medicine could be delivered through the "robot couriers", according to a statement Thursday by Singapore's Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the government agency leading the initiative.


Artificial Intelligence: Research Impact on Key Industries; the Upper-Rhine Artificial Intelligence Symposium (UR-AI 2020)

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

The TriRhenaTech alliance presents a collection of accepted papers of the cancelled tri-national 'Upper-Rhine Artificial Inteeligence Symposium' planned for 13th May 2020 in Karlsruhe. The TriRhenaTech alliance is a network of universities in the Upper-Rhine Trinational Metropolitan Region comprising of the German universities of applied sciences in Furtwangen, Kaiserslautern, Karlsruhe, and Offenburg, the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University Loerrach, the French university network Alsace Tech (comprised of 14 'grandes \'ecoles' in the fields of engineering, architecture and management) and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland. The alliance's common goal is to reinforce the transfer of knowledge, research, and technology, as well as the cross-border mobility of students.


GPT-3 Creative Fiction

#artificialintelligence

What if I told a story here, how would that story start?" Thus, the summarization prompt: "My second grader asked me what this passage means: …" When a given prompt isn't working and GPT-3 keeps pivoting into other modes of completion, that may mean that one hasn't constrained it enough by imitating a correct output, and one needs to go further; writing the first few words or sentence of the target output may be necessary.


AI used to find unsafe foods using consumer product reviews

#artificialintelligence

A new program can track all recalled foods based from Amazon customer reviews. Called BERT, the AI program identified thousands of recalled products with an accuracy rate of 74 percent. Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine developed an artificial intelligence (AI) program that can detect unsafe food contaminated with chemicals, toxins, pathogens, and those which are mislabeled of allergens. Many people experience illness resulting from the consumption of unsafe food items, which is now considered a global health problem. Because of this, the researchers developed a machine learning approach to help detect reports of unsafe food items from Amazon, a multinational technology company and the world's largest online retailer.


Topic Modeling with Wasserstein Autoencoders

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

We propose a novel neural topic model in the Wasserstein autoencoders (WAE) framework. Unlike existing variational autoencoder based models, we directly enforce Dirichlet prior on the latent document-topic vectors. We exploit the structure of the latent space and apply a suitable kernel in minimizing the Maximum Mean Discrepancy (MMD) to perform distribution matching. We discover that MMD performs much better than the Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) in matching high dimensional Dirichlet distribution. We further discover that incorporating randomness in the encoder output during training leads to significantly more coherent topics. To measure the diversity of the produced topics, we propose a simple topic uniqueness metric. Together with the widely used coherence measure NPMI, we offer a more wholistic evaluation of topic quality. Experiments on several real datasets show that our model produces significantly better topics than existing topic models.


Revisiting the Importance of Individual Units in CNNs via Ablation

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

We revisit the importance of the individual units in Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) for visual recognition. By conducting unit ablation experiments on CNNs trained on large scale image datasets, we demonstrate that, though ablating any individual unit does not hurt overall classification accuracy, it does lead to significant damage on the accuracy of specific classes. This result shows that an individual unit is specialized to encode information relevant to a subset of classes. We compute the correlation between the accuracy drop under unit ablation and various attributes of an individual unit such as class selectivity and weight L1 norm. We confirm that unit attributes such as class selectivity are a poor predictor for impact on overall accuracy as found previously in recent work \cite{morcos2018importance}. However, our results show that class selectivity along with other attributes are good predictors of the importance of one unit to individual classes. We evaluate the impact of random rotation, batch normalization, and dropout to the importance of units to specific classes. Our results show that units with high selectivity play an important role in network classification power at the individual class level. Understanding and interpreting the behavior of these units is necessary and meaningful.


Amazon looks to new food technology for home delivery

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Amazon.com Inc is exploring a technology first developed for the U.S. military to produce tasty prepared meals that do not need refrigeration, as it looks for new ways to muscle into the $700 billion U.S. grocery business. The world's biggest online retailer has discussed selling ready-to-eat dishes such as beef stew and a vegetable frittata as soon as next year, officials at the startup firm marketing the technology told Reuters. The dishes would be easy to stockpile and ship because they do not require refrigeration and could be offered quite cheaply compared with take-out from a restaurant. The world's biggest online retailer has discussed selling ready-to-eat dishes such as beef stew and a vegetable frittata as soon as next year, officials at the startup firm marketing the technology told Reuters Amazon.com Inc is exploring a technology first developed for the U.S. military to produce tasty prepared meals that do not need refrigeration.


Fresh: The Most Important Battlefield for Grocery Retail

#artificialintelligence

A global survey of 4000 consumers reveals that shoppers are being left disappointed with the freshness of their grocery purchases. Set against a backdrop of declining retail profitability and significant changes in consumer lifestyles, grocery retailers are under pressure to deliver the best freshness to their customers, while also turning a profit. McKinsey reports that 40 per cent of grocery revenue is driven by fresh, which puts tremendous pressure on category managers to get it right. Yet category managers in fresh know too well the complexities of delivering the best fresh to their customers: Fresh goods are perishable, demand varies from day to day and supply chain lead-times are difficult to predict. Stock too much and you risk providing a less than satisfactory level of fresh if the stock is not sold in time, or you generate food waste.


17 Retail Trends for 2017 - Fung Global Retail & Technology

#artificialintelligence

The rise of e-commerce over the last 10 years or so has forced retailers to adapt to the changes demanded by consumers. E-commerce growth continues to accelerate and outpace growth in the brick-and-mortar channel, and online sales accounted for almost 20% of total US sales this holiday season, based on preliminary estimates. In addition, department stores have offered discounts and promotions as a key tool to drive demand and bring consumers into stores. Over time, this strategy can dilute a store's brand and leave stores looking picked through. Also, it trains consumers to wait for discounts instead of buying products at full price. There has been a significant number of store closures in the last few years, and we expect that to accelerate in 2017 and in the following few years. As the department store channel shrinks, and more brands fight for less space, we think brands will need to be more creative, flexible and diversified in their approaches. One way brands can disrupt the more traditional wholesale channel without taking on the significant real estate risk that comes with opening their own stores is to open pop-up stores. With pop-ups, brands have complete creative control of the brand experience and how their messaging is communicated to consumers. They can tell the story they want to tell and explain in their own voice what the brand stands for. In some cases, brands use pop-ups more as an advertising tool than as a place to transact commerce. These kinds of pop-ups usually offer some kind of special experience to draw consumers into the store. Pop-ups can also be set up in locations other than malls, allowing brands to reach their target customers where they are. Retailers and brands can also use pop-ups to test the waters in the most expensive shopping areas, often at discounted rents, while landlords can use the temporary stores to show off the space to prospective long-term tenants. Mall operators are receptive to pop-ups, as they bring something new and unique to consumers. Real estate firm Related Companies has used pop-up shops at the Time Warner Center in New York City to provide a fresh feel and add variety for consumers.


Amazon Go and the Future of Work

#artificialintelligence

First, the basics: Amazon has created a small Seattle grocery store that allows customers to just take what they want off the shelves and leave, without having to wait in line or check out with a cashier. In addition to traditional grocery items, Amazon Go will also feature meal kits with fresh ingredients to be prepared at home. For now, the 1,800 square foot Amazon Go store is only open to Amazon employees, but the company plans to open the doors to the public in early 2017. The company didn't announce further expansion plans, but based on the slick promotional video released yesterday, it seems evident this isn't a one-off idea. Earlier this year, Business Insider reported that Amazon was planning a grocery store pilot program, and may ultimately aim for 2,000 markets around the US in the next decade.