Shopping set to change forever? AI can spot potential thieves before they act

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Published: March 12, 2019 7:42:03 PM

While artificial intelligence is popularly referred to in the context of self-driving cars, now it can be used to spot potential shoplifters and detect a crime before it happens.

shopping, artificial intelligence, online shopping, lifestyle, science, newsShopping set to change forever?

Have you watched the movie “Minority Report”? Then this is definitely going to feel like you are going through some parts of it all over again! While artificial intelligence is popularly referred to in the context of self-driving cars, now it can be used to spot potential shoplifters and detect a crime before it happens. The goal is to prevent shoplifting in the first instance itself and to make the early detection a deterrent to those who are tempted to shoplift. Last year, a Japanese startup made headlines when it announced that it would come out with a video-based self-check out system. The startup has got algorithms to analyze security camera footage and use it to alert staff about those who can be classified as ‘potential thieves’.

The trendsetting innovation by the Japanese startup Vaak actually nabbed a shoplifter at a Yokohama store. The company, through its ‘AI Guardman’ aims to be present in 100,000 stores across the country in just three years. A news report claimed that the ‘AI Guardman’ has reduced shoplifting by around 40 percent.

For retailers across the globe, this is a big development that can help improve their razor-thin margins. Retailers are sure to welcome such developments using artificial intelligence. Global studies indicate that shoplifting has impacted global retail sales in a big way, costing about $34 billion in lost sales in 2017 alone.

Amazon’s Echo Look is another interesting example of how artificial intelligence is impacting those who enjoy shopping. It enables users to get advice on fashion.

The use of Artificial Intelligence in retail stores can make the process of shopping more convenient for consumers in many ways. Innovations like virtual mirrors have delighted many consumers. A study claims that more than 80% brands globally are already using or planning to use chat bots. Burberry and Tom Hilfiger, for instance, have launched their own AI-driven chat bots on Facebook Messenger to guide their customers and respond to their queries.

However, the use of AI like ‘AI Guardman’ also throws upon a set of questions pertaining to automated surveillance on several parameters related to a consumer’s privacy, accuracy in terms of early detection and the legal implications in case of innocent or indecisive consumer’s body language being classified under the category of ‘suspicious’ behavior.

Simply put, the future of retail shopping is set to change forever!

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