09 Jan Retail and eCommerce trends to watch out in 2017 (1/3) : Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) will have the greatest impact.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been making waves since Alpha Go won against the 18-time Go champion, Lee Sedol. 2016 saw a record level of investments in AI and it is sure this technology is here to stay.
The vast increase of available data, advanced machine learning algorithms and strong interest from large tech companies have supported the recent AI breakthrough. 2016 posted a record level of investment in the industry with 591 deals totalling $4.2 billion led by Khosla Ventures, Intel Capital, Google Ventures and other investors.
While we can see only few real-world applications of this technology, tech giants definitely recognize the massive opportunity that AI presents. More than 40 AI companies have been acquired in 2016, with Google, Apple, Intel, Salesforce or Microsoft purchasing firms with different AI technologies (including machine learning, data science, natural language processing, advanced computer vision technology).
Also beyond the strategic moves of the tech giants, the next AI-developers’ challenge will be to make this technology practical and affordable for smaller firms. AI will help companies automate repetitive data-driven tasks while reducing costs and optimizing data analysis.
Indeed collecting customers data allows retailers to profile them and make better recommendations, however nobody is harnessing this effectively yet. This is where AI comes in.