Walmart builds an AI to help improve experiences for staff and customers

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Walmart has started building an artificial intelligence (AI) lab in one of its stores, that will (hopefully) improve both associate and customer experiences.

The lab is called Intelligent Retail Lab, and it's currently getting set up in Walmart's working store in Levittown. It will be managed by a team housed within the company's Store 8 startup incubator, that the company calls Kepler. 

Contrary to some earlier media reports, it will not tackle the idea of a cashierless store. A Walmart spokesperson told us the store is capable of testing such a feature, but is "currently focused on testing broader range of applications such as helping improve inventory and on-shelf availability."

The team will focus on tweaking AI to recognise when a specific item is running out of stock, so that the company can replenish its stocks on time. Also, it will be used to identify spills, understand why carts are running low near the entrance and notify the staff when certain items are placed on the wrong shelf.

Walmart is employing multiple cutting-edge technologies in its day-to-day activities. We recently reported that the company is using blockchain, nowadays very hot tech that underlines cryptocurrencies, to track the origin of vegetables.

Through blockchain, Walmart hopes to minimise the risk of potential health hazards.

“This change means that the information gathered by these suppliers will be open and accessible through technology that offers real-time, end-to-end traceability from farm to table,” it was said. “Blockchain allows for digitized sharing of data in a secure and trusted way.”

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