This week’s Ask the Expert is answered by Prof. Dr. Michael Feindt. Dr. Feindt is the brain behind Blue Yonder. His NeuroBayes algorithm was developed during his many years of scientific research at CERN. Michael is also a professor at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany, and a lecturer at the Data Science Academy.

Ask the Expert: A November 2017 study by Deloitte stated that 85 per cent of UK organisations plan to invest in artificial intelligence and the internet of things in the next three years with half of organisations to invest more than £10 million in digital by 2020. What is driving this investment in AI and how will retailers likely be using AI?

AI has clearly become something of a buzzword across many industries and, as often with technologies that reach buzzword status, it can be challenging to establish the value they can bring to businesses. However, the retail industry faces multiple, fundamental challenges, which are forcing businesses in the sector to adopt new technology to improve the efficiency of their operations and better serve their customers.

Every retailer is aware of the threat that their online competitors pose to their business, and many of them are focusing their efforts on providing the very best customer experience to engender continued brand loyalty. AI will play a crucial role in this, ensuring that replenishment processes are optimised to deliver the products that consumers want on the shelves while suppressing write-offs and waste  and that prices are set at the right level to increase sales while maintaining profitability.

We believe that the need for retailers to maintain an edge over their competitors and operate with more agility and flexibility in a digital marketplace will be essential to driving investment in AI.

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