Short Circuit (1986) is a Sci-Fi comedy about a robot, Johnny-Five, that gets struck by lightning causing it to become sentient and allowing it to think and feel like a human. It then goes on a journey of escaping and outsmarting its human creators and the other robots that aren’t sentient. For decades, science fiction writers have written about machines becoming intelligent and interacting with our world on their own–from Skynet, to VIKI, to Johnny Five. What do they all have in common? They are all powered by Artificial Intelligence.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no longer the stuff of fiction. When we hear about Tesla’s new self-automated driving cars or think about Amazon’s recommendation engine, we just accept that these machines work. But how? (Hint: It’s not through the power of lightning). Let’s embark on a journey together to demystify Artificial Intelligence and uncover how its application can make retailers more efficient and profitable.
Demystifying Artificial Intelligence
Simply put, Artificially Intelligent programs mimic the way humans think and behave, such as responding, planning, and learning. For example, when Tesla’s self-driving car sees a car in front of them stop, the Tesla’s AI is programmed to react by stopping to avoid collision. Although there are many facets to AI, this is generally the base definition that is widely accepted. What are the benefits to retailers for utilizing AI?
Acceleration of Productivity and Reduction of Labor Costs
AI enhanced machines do the work that humans would normally do. It reduces mundane tasks and therefore increasing productivity as you can allocate your workforce elsewhere. What would take hundreds of hours of human labor could be reduced to just several hours of analyzing data. Artificial intelligence is able to analyze deeper through hidden layers, sifting through databases, which would otherwise take a person a great deal of work.
Reduction of Human Error
Machines are by nature tireless workers. They do not get exhausted as humans do. As a result, machines reduce mistakes caused by human error.
Consistency is related to the previous point. There are many factors that influence a human’s choice, and while the AI takes that into consideration as it is replicating a human’s decision-making skills, it is also avoiding outliers.
AI makes the humanly impossible, possible every day.
AI Makes Returns Reduction Possible
When we set out to build our flagship software platform for Returns Reduction, we knew that identifying the Root Cause of the returns would require mining through multiple sets of data across systems to monitor and analyze the returns. With machine learning, the software would learn from both failures and successes to provide better feedback and suggestive actions to reduce return rates. That’s why Chief Returns Officer is powered using AI. With Chief Returns Officer’s AI in the driver seat, teams across the value chain can collaborate in real-time to prevent and reduce returns in-season. No additional headcount needed.
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