How Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Use AI to Stay in Business

By: Ashley Sams

June 13th, 2018

 

Over 10,000 brick-and-mortar retailers have ceased operations in the last 18 months as online shopping retailers like Amazon take over. How can these shops fight back against the “retail apocalypse?” Simple. Artificial intelligence.

VentureBeat shares three ways traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are using AI to survive in the age of online shopping.

Tailored customer experiences top the list of survival tactics. Over 70 percent of customers say they would be more loyal to brands that integrate customization into their stores. For example, beauty megastore Sephora uses Color IQ, a machine-learning driven product that scans your face and suggests personalized foundations and concealers, to keep customers coming back to their stores.

Other tactics include using AI to gain insight into store patterns to reduce safety stock and replenish inventory as needed across different locations. Also, AI can analyze customer shopping habits and determine which items will be popular and stock shelves accordingly.

The full story with examples from H&M, Walgreens and more is available here.

How to Build an Algorithm Without a Line of Code

We keep hearing about how we need to use artificial intelligence. But how do we get our hands on it? According to The Verge, AI startup Lobe is making it very easy.

Lobe is designed to give amateurs an easy way in to artificial intelligence. It’s got a clean, drag-and-drop interface for building algorithms from scratch, enabling users to build tools without typing a single line of code.

Co-founder Mike Matas shares the reasoning behind creating Lobe, “People have ideas they want to try in machine learning but don’t have the right way to prototype them.”

The Verge author James Vincent put the tool to the test by teaching it to recognize scrabble pieces through a webcam. To do so, he had to go through steps common to machine learning applications such as collecting a dataset, letting a neural network sort through the photos and slowly learn the shapes of each letter.

Lobe.ai is currently in beta but if your curiosity is peaked, you can sign up with a Google account here and start building your algorithm today.

Spain to Win the World Cup? Machine Learning Thinks So.

The first match of the 2018 World Cup kicks off in Russia tomorrow and scientists at the Technical University of Dortmund believe they already know who will be the winner.

According to MIT Technology Review, Andreas Groll and his colleagues use a combination of machine learning and a random-forest approach to identify the most likely winner.

One way to predict the winner is through a branching method, which uses a decision tree to map out every possible outcome through branches.

Unique to the random-forest method is that it calculates the outcome of random branches over and over again and averages the results for a final answer. In doing so, it also reveals which factors are most important in determining the outcome, such as FIFA ranking, team properties, player age, home advantage and more.

Using this method, Groll predicts that the winner of the 2018 World Cup will be Spain with a probability of 17.8 percent.

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