Walmart’s early employment of AI at its shops is not just for the sake of handiness. The retailer has verified to media that it is employing camera-based computer vision technology to deter losses and theft at its checkouts (comprising self-checkouts) in more than 1,000 shops. The simply named Missed Scan Detection project alerts people if a product shifts past a scanner without a real scan, offering staff an opportunity to step in. Most of the incidents are accidental, such as fatigued cashiers or forgetful shoppers, but Walmart is clearly expecting this will deter thieves hopeful to make off with unscanned products.
The store chain is employing tech from various firms, comprising Everseen. The tech has been in employment for the last 2 Years.
If you ask the firm, it seems to be working. LeMia Jenkins, spokeswoman, claimed to the media that shrinkage rates (that is, the loss of products to accidents and theft) have lowered at shops where the computer vision is in employment. The question is if or not the system deals with privacy issues. While many shops have security cameras, few are employing AI to know activity at this stage. How long does Walmart maintains the info, and is there anything verifying? The media have asked Walmart for answers, but it is safe to claim that many users are not aware that AI is at operation.
On a related note, Walmart is not going to allow Amazon’s AI-based shops go unreciprocated, even though it is not exactly cloning the idea. The store chain has revealed a publicly available concept shop, the IRL (Intelligent Retail Lab), in New York. The location employs a vast series of cameras and computer vision not to manage purchases, such as Amazon Go does, but to assist workers corral shopping carts and restock empty shelves.