AI and the retail store of the future

When it comes to artificial intelligence (AI), both reporters and consumers tend to focus on big, bold, and very sexy stories, like autonomous self-driving cars or machines beating human world champions at games like chess, Go, and even Jeopardy. And I’ll admit, those stories are very cool, and they certainly deserve the attention they get. Aside from those stories, though, some of the largest, most practical advancements in AI are happening in the industrial sector, and it might come to the surprise of more than a few that the retail industry — traditionally risk-averse and more fast follower than early adopter — is leading the way. Deep learning-powered shopping Currently, retail sees AI solutions like Amazon’s Echo, Google’s Home, and Apple’s Siri making real differences in the online shopping experience, and the Amazon Go concept store appears destined to be a disruptive force in the brick-and-mortar realm. Seemingly every week, new applications come online, like Original Stitch’s Bodygram, which custom-tailors button-down shirts from a single photo. But there are a lot more applications on the short-term horizon, especially those that will appear “behind the scenes,” and they will have a tremendous impact in all areas of the retail enterprise. Behind these…

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