Excerpt from very nice article on Fast Company covering Walmart and its IRL lab stores. Great example of inventory management and fulfillment via AI and cameras
When Amazon launched its first Go store in 2018, the public lined up around the block to see the future of retail: a new experience where you could walk in, grab something off the shelf, and walk out. Sure, there were cameras on the ceiling and AI on computers tracking silently from above, but the promise was convenience through automation–maybe not The Jetsons, but a better 7/11 for certain.
Now Walmart has shared its version of the future of brick-and-mortar retail, the Intelligent Retail Lab, or IRL for short. Unlike Go, it doesn’t feature any futuristic user experience. There’s no automated checkout or similar whiz-bang head turner that people will Instagram about. Instead, IRL can track Walmart’s inventory in real time with unprecedented efficiency, making sure every item on every shelf is always in stock.
Rethinking the entire shopping experience, as Amazon Go has done, was not on the table. “It’s just not a priority for us right now, as we think about it,” says Mike Hanrahan, CEO of IRL (which is technically a startup within Walmart itself). Instead, the IRL store has 1,500 cameras hanging from the ceiling to ensure that when you walk up to the meat section, there’s in stock. “If you have really good inventory, it leads to a better managed store,” says Hanrahan. And a better managed store is a more profitable one.
Artificial Intelligence Boom in Colorado
Great podcast by CPR and Colorado Matters on latest technology iterations. There is also interview with local futurist who speaks to Gig economy.
Full article is located here
We recommend listening to the podcast for the full details.
Artificial Intelligence – Holly, made by Valyant A.I., is a disembodied voice that takes drive-through orders at a Good Times in South Denver.
The Colorado fast food chain started experimenting with conversational A.I. to lighten the load of some of its employees who often juggle multiple tasks at the same time. Rob Carpenter, founder of Valyant A.I., said the hospitality industry needs robots right now to make up for the lack of applicants.
“In the United States, because it’s such a tight labor market, there’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 800,000 unfilled positions,” Carpenter said.
Robots – What could the benefit of that be? Ian Bernstein, the company’s founder, said there’s a lot of opportunity for robots to help with simple tasks in our everyday lives. But there’s also the potential for them to help the elderly and disabled in big ways.
“Our CEO has a personal mission to eliminate nursing homes,” Bernstein said. “He doesn’t want to see his mom go into a nursing home when she gets old, where robots could take care of her at home. I think the quality of life of older people could become much better with robots in the future.”
Future – Thomas Frey, a futurist and founder of the DaVinci Institute in Westminster, had an alternate answer to whether there will be less jobs in the future because of this shift.
“Actually I think it creates the opportunity for more industries and more jobs,” Frey said. “I think we’re actually moving into an era of super-employment. I think we’re going to have more jobs than ever before in all history, it’s just that they won’t be full time jobs, they will be gigs.”
From detecting gunfire to predicting high-crime areas, artificial intelligence is being applied in crime and criminal justice. In this article w
New tools for the public. Several of these dovetail with emergency kiosks too.
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