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How the retail revolution is being fueled by AI



How the retail revolution is being fueled by AI

Method of buying is about to change thanks to technology that enables cutting-edge shopping experiences like augmented reality displays, real-time price modifications, and personalized in-store advertisements and chatbots. One of the main factors propelling the revolution in the retail sector is the application of artificial intelligence (AI).

According to McKinsey, consumers are prepared to pay more for individualized experiences. Customers are also more responsive to shelf-level advertising when it is done in an educational and engaging way. Physical merchants must gain a deeper understanding of their customers in order to live up to these high expectations. This is where AI enters the picture, enabling shops to fully realize the benefits and offer a variety of options.

Retailers can open up a whole new universe of customer experiences using AI technologies in-store, like autonomous shopping. Retail stores are equipped with the knowledge they need to offer dynamic pricing and in-store promotions by evaluating in-store data. AI also contributes to the resolution of important issues about what consumers are looking at, what they are purchasing, and what they plan to purchase next.

By removing barriers between various channels to adopt an omnichannel strategy, AI also helps retailers better understand their customers. This enables them to implement technologies like conversational AI to enhance both in-store and online experiences.

AI is essential for improving the supply chain behind the scenes as well, from forecasting to routing optimization, and not just on the shop floor. Retailers can increase business efficiency, monitor inventory, and connect stock levels to current buying trends by implementing a “smart warehouse.”

Using AI to empower retailers

Now accessible is the technology that will ignite the spark for this transformation. It is already present in retail store cameras, and when combined with edge computing and AI capabilities, it helps move data storage closer to the source to facilitate faster processing and faster outcomes. With strong edge AI servers installed in their stores, retailers are already at the forefront of this technology and are paving the way for the self-checkout of the future. The high-definition cameras within the store are linked to the servers. Using real-time edge servers, an AI application keeps an eye on customers while they check out.

The system responds instantly when the edge servers detect an issue, which might be anything from non-scans to “product switching,” when customers swap stickers to scan pricey items as cheaper ones. Customers receive a real-time “nudge” in the form of a five-second video that plays on the point-of-sale terminal if they cause an error. When they don’t answer, a store assistant gets the word.

Servers that can handle 20 cameras’ worth of input at once in real time make this possible. In addition to monitoring inventory, the cameras assist shops in combating theft. The technology has enormous potential for use in both the front and back ends of retail enterprises. Retailers may soon be able to verify that deliveries match exactly what was bought by connecting edge AI to in-store cameras. AI cameras might guarantee that clients “click and buy” the correct items when they leave the store. Such technologies facilitate inventory management and demand analysis.

Using edge computing and AI has promise that goes well beyond addressing issues like theft. It has the capacity to provide customer insights that have the potential to completely change the industry, giving retailers the know-how they need to better layout their stores and arrange their inventory to boost sales.

Productivity driven by data

Almost every store already has cameras installed, but they are rarely used for anything other than using the footage as proof in the event of an incident. This film can be quickly converted into real business value with the help of an edge system and artificial intelligence. The system may provide the data needed for insightful analytics on consumer behavior just by plugging a video feed into an edge server GPU. This enables shops to offer dynamic pricing, real-time promotions, and fast targeted advertising. These can all boost sales and generate income.

AI has the potential to be a very effective tool for retailers looking to “join the dots” and develop an omnichannel strategy. This is achieved by fusing retail and e-commerce data, which contributes to the creation of a “Customer 360” perspective that allows for better experiences. AI chatbots will play a bigger role in customer support both in-store and online, assisting in the dismantling of barriers between brick-and-mortar and online retail. These exchanges will keep painting a complete image of the customer.

Business executives can increase productivity and improve staff schedules by analyzing employee behavior. Cameras can also help safeguard personnel from danger and guarantee that businesses aren’t packed. In this case, edge computing and AI operate in concert to give retailers a means of quickly and efficiently processing this data at the time of engagement.

Examining the supply chain

Applications for this potent blend of edge computing and AI extend far beyond the shop floor. Retailers can purchase products, replenish shelves, and arrange logistics more successfully by using analytics from warehouses and stock rooms.

This data increases in value the more it is shared throughout various company divisions. Real-time stock levels can provide valuable insights into purchase patterns when combined with shop floor data. This can lead to a more streamlined and efficient corporate operation. Retailers, for example, might utilize data to determine the typical number of consumers that visit the store at various periods of the year and stock their floors to meet this demand. For merchants who are successful in the run-up to peak seasons like Christmas, this is a critical differentiation.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has applications in warehousing and supply chain that range from inventory and warehouse management to routing and cold chain optimization. AI analytics can guarantee that goods arrive more quickly and freshly, provide company executives the capacity to foresee issues, and cut down on waste.

The revolution in retail AI

Who has benefited from real-time data and analytics will determine who wins and loses in the retail industry. Innovative companies will be able to use edge technology and AI to harness data and provide the desired personalized experiences. In addition to enhancing daily operations and productivity, data may be used to uncover insights that open up completely new sources of income.


Biden, Kishida Secure Support from Amazon and Nvidia for $50 Million Joint AI Research Program



As the two countries seek to enhance cooperation around the rapidly advancing technology, President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida have enlisted Inc. and Nvidia Corp. to fund a new joint artificial intelligence research program.

A senior US official briefed reporters prior to Wednesday’s official visit at the White House, stating that the $50 million project will be a collaborative effort between Tsukuba University outside of Tokyo and the University of Washington in Seattle. A separate collaborative AI research program between Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and Tokyo’s Keio University is also being planned by the two nations.

The push for greater research into artificial intelligence comes as the Biden administration is weighing a series of new regulations designed to minimize the risks of AI technology, which has developed as a key focus for tech companies. The White House announced late last month that federal agencies have until the end of the year to determine how they will assess, test, and monitor the impact of government use of AI technology.

In addition to the university-led projects, Microsoft Corp. announced on Tuesday that it would invest $2.9 billion to expand its cloud computing and artificial intelligence infrastructure in Japan. Brad Smith, the president of Microsoft, met with Kishida on Tuesday. The company released a statement announcing its intention to establish a new AI and robotics lab in Japan.

Kishida, the second-largest economy in Asia, urged American business executives to invest more in Japan’s developing technologies on Tuesday.

“Your investments will enable Japan’s economic growth — which will also be capital for more investments from Japan to the US,” Kishida said at a roundtable with business leaders in Washington.

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OnePlus and OPPO Collaborate with Google to Introduce Gemini Models for Enhanced Smartphone AI



As anticipated, original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, are heavily integrating AI into their products. Google is working with OnePlus, OPPO, and other companies to integrate Gemini models into their smartphones. They intend to introduce the Gemini models on smartphones later this year, becoming the first OEMs to do so. Gemini models will go on sale later in 2024, as announced at the Google Cloud Next 24 event. Gemini models are designed to provide users with an enhanced artificial intelligence (AI) experience on their gadgets.

Customers in China can now create AI content on-the-go with devices like the OnePlus 12 and OPPO Find X7 thanks to OnePlus and OPPO’s Generative AI models.

The AI Eraser tool was recently made available to all OnePlus customers worldwide. This AI-powered tool lets users remove unwanted objects from their photos. For OnePlus and OPPO, AI Eraser is only the beginning.

In the future, the businesses hope to add more AI-powered features like creating original social media content and summarizing news stories and audio.

AndesGPT LLM from OnePlus and OPPO powers AI Eraser. Even though the Samsung Galaxy S24 and Google Pixel 8 series already have this feature, it is still encouraging to see OnePlus and OPPO taking the initiative to include AI capabilities in their products.

OnePlus and OPPO devices will be able to provide customers with a more comprehensive and sophisticated AI experience with the release of the Gemini models. It is important to remember that OnePlus and OPPO already power the Trinity Engine, which makes using phones incredibly smooth, and use AI and computational mathematics to enhance mobile photography.

By 2024, more original equipment manufacturers should have AI capabilities on their products. This is probably going to help Google because OEMs will use Gemini as the foundation upon which to build their features.

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Meta Explores AI-Enabled Search Bar on Instagram



In an attempt to expand the user base for its generative AI-powered products, Meta is moving forward. The business is experimenting with inserting Meta AI into the Instagram search bar for both chat with AI and content discovery, in addition to testing the chatbot Meta AI with users in nations like India on WhatsApp.

When you type a query into the search bar, Meta AI initiates a direct message (DM) exchange in which you can ask questions or respond to pre-programmed prompts. Aravind Srinivas, CEO of Perplexity AI, pointed out that the prompt screen’s design is similar to the startup’s search screen.

Plus, it might make it easier for you to find fresh Instagram content. As demonstrated in a user-posted video on Threads, you can search for Reels related to a particular topic by tapping on a prompt such as “Beautiful Maui sunset Reels.”

Additionally, TechCrunch spoke with a few users who had the ability to instruct Meta AI to look for recommendations for Reels.

By using generative AI to surface new content from networks like Instagram, Meta hopes to go beyond text generation.

With TechCrunch, Meta verified the results of its Instagram AI experiment. But the company didn’t say whether or not it uses generative AI technology for search.

A Meta representative told TechCrunch, “We’re testing a range of our generative AI-powered experiences publicly in a limited capacity. They are under development in varying phases.”

There are a ton of posts available discussing Instagram search quality. It is therefore not surprising that Meta would want to enhance search through the use of generative AI.

Furthermore, Instagram should be easier to find than TikTok, according to Meta. In order to display results from Reddit and TikTok, Google unveiled a new perspectives feature last year. Instagram is developing a feature called “Visibility off Instagram” that could allow posts to appear in search engine results, according to reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi, who made this discovery earlier this week on X.

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