Artificial Intelligence: The long tail of retail

Artificial Intelligence: The long tail of retail
Exhibitors pulled out all the stops in the form of unique incentives to catch the attention of consumers on the second day of Gitex Shopper on Sunday. - Photos by Dhes Handumon

Sandhya D'Mello

Published: Sun 24 Sep 2017, 7:57 PM

Last updated: Sun 24 Sep 2017, 10:20 PM

The next time you step into Gitex Shopper, just remember that every move you make, from buying gadgets to their mode of delivery, bill payment, mode of payment; food; beverages; mode of travel... everything is monitored through camera sensors, which in turn provide data to understand consumer shopping preferences. This will be interpreted by analytics via Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help retailers understand where they stand in terms of sales, product positioning and more.
AI is now in your palm, with consumers indulging more in voice commands rather than typing on Google searches. Gitex Shopper 2017 has seen popular brands display AI in visible ways such as Samsung Galaxy Note8's updated AI voice assistant, Bixby, as well as those from HTC and Huawei.
AI relies on data provided by consumer inputs. Having almost hit 96 per cent in Internet penetration, the UAE expecting or demanding more from AI technology seems like the next logical step for residents.
Tareq Husseini, regional sales director for the Middle East and Africa at Western Digital Corporation, said: "AI promises enhanced storage performance and is expected to make data storage easier."
Smartphone more than a device
Consumer demand for increased device capabilities and digital engagement has paved the way for a new era of mobile technology, namely AI. From a consumer perspective, any technology that goes beyond meeting the users' basic needs through amplification of their lifestyle and capabilities will be welcomed. AI promises to do just that, turning mobile phones into intelligent devices that work for you by predicting what you need at what point of the day, among other endless possibilities.
All smartphones in the new HTC U series work through its own AI assistant capabilities. This includes the HTC U Ultra, HTC U Play and the latest flagship phone, HTC U11. The HTC U11 includes three intelligent companions devoted to users: HTC Sense Companion, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. In mainland China, HTC U11 also offers Baidu DuerOS.
Similarly, the Huawei P10 camera continues to outperform competition with its Leica Dual-Camera 2.0. The in-built AI chip in Huawei's newest smartphone is expected to make it the most powerful camera smartphone on the market. Huawei put in place a strategy to coordinate AI development in terms of device, cloud and chip as early as 2016. This ongoing investment in R&D has paid off and Huawei is set to further boost its dual camera technology with the help of its mobile AI chip and mobile AI strategy. By combining the power of the cloud with the speed and responsiveness of native AI processing, Huawei is bringing AI experiences to life and changing the way we interact with our devices.
AI has the potential to boost labour productivity by up to 40 per cent by 2035. This rise in labour productivity will not be driven by longer hours but by innovative technologies enabling people to make more efficient use of their time. Overall, AI is expected to unleash benefits across countries, countering economic growth prospects and redefining "the new normal" as a period of high and long-lasting economic growth.
Kevin Cha, president of LG Electronics Middle East and Africa, said: "In the Middle East, investment in technology innovation is in pockets, and is focused on global leadership rather than just regional consumers. However, with the consumers adopting a more modern, convenient lifestyle, technology is a key enabler as well as having a role to play in societal change. Among AI-related technologies, reports indicate that UAE businesses expect to invest in machine and deep learning, while Saudi businesses anticipate they would be investing extensively in embedded AI solutions in the near future." -

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