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AI Is Coming – Don’t Panic!

Artificial intelligence impacts on retail likely to be benign and boost efficiency

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Artificial intelligence clearly has the power to change a variety of businesses, including retail. But for those who might be expecting a worst-case scenario, i.e., the machines take over, the reality is almost certain to be far different, NRF blogger/contributor Geoff Williams writes.

“People have all these preconceived notions of what AI is like, and it’s going to be nothing like what people think. Artificial intelligence programs are assisting and making people’s lives better,” Ananda “Andy” Chakravarty, vice president of research at IDC Retail Insights, told Williams.

Chakravarty concedes that nobody can predict what artificial intelligence might be like in, say, 20 years. But for now, “it’s not ready for independent usage yet. We don’t see very many AI technologies that don’t have humans involved. You have to have that oversight and ‘human in the loop,’ if you will.”

That said, here’s where AI seems most likely to help revolutionize retail, Williams says:

  • Targeting customers;
  • More efficient business operations;
  • Optimized pricing, forecasting and marketing.

Click here for details on how Williams says AI will impact those areas.

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