Artificial Intelligence (AI) is slowly becoming a key element in the modern, technologically driven world. Along with other industries, AI is also making its presence known in the retail industry.
Artificial intelligence is used to define the intelligence demonstrated by machines. Through AI, machines can store data from previous experiences, adjust to new inputs and can also perform human like tasks. By combining large sets of data, iterative processing and detailed algorithms, AI is able to learn quickly from patterned data. AI can become a crucial part of retail business, if integrated properly.
AI can be beneficial when it comes to daily task management and gaining insights about customers. Using AI in retail stores can also contribute to time management for business owners as well. This could also help in customizing the shopping experience of customers all the while creating a better business due to customer interaction. This, inturn, helps the business gain more customer insights.
Moreover, using such technology in the retail industry will leave less room for errors. It will also help owners keep tabs on shoplifting as every item will have a record in the store database. AI operated retails would be able to work 24*7 without any manpower, resulting in more profits for retail businesses.
Even though AI supported retail stores are still far away, two of the world’s biggest retailers, Amazon and Walmart, already introduced stores which are entirely AI dependent.
In 2018, Amazon announced a chain of convenience stores named Amazon Go, which are partly automated. The stores use several different technologies like computer vision, deep learning algorithms and sensor fusion. The ceilings of the stores are equipped with multiple cameras and the store shelves have weight sensors attached to them. These weight sensors help in the detection of the items taken by a customer and the item is automatically added to the customer’s virtual cart. Introduced on January 22nd 2018, Amazon Go has 18 outlets in the United States.
Meanwhile, Walmart, in April 2019, introduced its Intelligent Retail Lab (IRL.) Based in New York, this store comes equipped with artificial intelligence cameras, interactive displays and massive data centers. This store is also used by Walmart as a lab to explore the future use of AI in the retail industry.
While AI operated stores are beneficial to everyone, the cost behind such a project can be a real nightmare. Implementing high tech devices can be expensive, especially for small businesses and also increases dependency on machines. However, the benefits of this technology are much higher, to be ignored completely.
Incorporating artificial intelligence into the retail sector may sound like science fiction. However, the efforts put in by these giant retailers and the advancement of technology mean AI operated retail shops will be a part of our future.
Elon Musk’s Tesla Makes Inroads Into India By Registering Company In Bengaluru
Commonly known as the Nikola Tesla of our generation, Elon Musk is a technology entrepreneur, engineer and investor. The self made billionaire managed to convert his scientific imaginations into reality and tried his hands at various fields, spread across technology, science and exploration. Automaker Tesla has been in the news for the last few months for breaking records and creating new milestones. In the first week of January 2021, Tesla surpassed Facebook, in terms of market cap and is currently the fifth most valuable company in the United States of America.
There have been calls of bringing Tesla to the Indian market since a couple of years ago and now the dream finally turned into reality. In what can be termed as a momentous occasion, Tesla makes inroads into the Indian market as Elon Musk registers a new company in Bengaluru, India. On January 8, Tesla Motors India and Energy Private Limited was established with its registered office in Bengaluru, also known as the IT capital and the Silicon Valley of India.
Reportedly, Tesla would launch their Model 3 first in the Indian market for an estimated price of INR 60 lakhs. Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways confirmed in December, Tesla is coming to India in early 2021 and will first start off with sales, and then look at assembly and manufacturing based on the response it receives. According to Republic TV, other than Karnataka, Tesla is in talks with the governments of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu to establish offices.
If you own a smartphone, there is a very high chance that you are a WhatsApp user. The simple and lightweight online messaging application has embedded itself into our lives and has become indispensable. Family groups, friend groups, office groups, play groups and many other groups like these see millions of conversations happening on a daily basis. Millions of people across the world use Whatsapp for multiple purposes. Beginning from a simple user to user online text messaging app, over the years Whatsapp has grown exponentially by adding a lot of features like payments, location sharing, pictures and video sharing, document sharing, group chats and calls.
Signal in particular saw a huge spurt in registrations following Tesla founder Elon Musk’s tweet which said Signal in response to a user asking Musk what is a good alternative to Whatsapp.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 7, 2021
On January 12th, 2021, nearly 800,000 users installed Signal globally. Signal could not handle the influx and their SMS verification failed to function properly. Signal has since then added more servers to cope with the surge in app downloads. Signal said the only information it collects is the phone number and they do not assign a name to the number. Whatsapp on the other hand collects a slew of data as shown in the picture below.
We want to address some rumors and be 100% clear we continue to protect your private messages with end-to-end encryption. pic.twitter.com/6qDnzQ98MP
— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) January 12, 2021
ALSO READ: How Does WhatsApp Generate Revenue
Whatsapp data is instead used to improve Facebook user experience. Facebook is benefiting from Whatsapp by generating a huge wealth of consumer behavior data which inturn is being used to improve the ads on Facebook.
In this day and age when the internet is making its way to every nook and corner of the world, companies are increasingly developing an internet ecosystem in order to make lives easier. These ecosystems learn from gathering continuous data. While it is hard to pinpoint how much data should be collected and kept private and how much could be used to improve quality of lives, the choice ultimately lies with the individual.
Let us know if you are going to continue using Whatsapp or will move to SIgnal in the comments below.
Quibi : Startup With A Billion Dollar Launch To Shutting Down All In Six Months
While we see many startups doing exciting things, one should not forget the world of entrepreneurship is riddled with more failures than successes. Hundreds of startups go bust without even making a mark every month while some go on to make a mark and go into oblivion once the consumer no longer needs their business model or products. However, Quibi, short for quick bites, definitely takes the cake for going big with a billion dollar launch and shutting down, all of which took place in a span of six months. So how did a billion dollar startup founded by some big names and partners with some of the biggest names in the world end up going bust? Read ahead to find out the interesting story of Quibi.
Quibi was founded by Dreamworks Animation co founder Jeffery Katzenberg and former Hewlett Packard Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman, both of whom have deep roots in the technology and Hollywood industries as well as having a wealth of experience running billion dollar corporations. Quibi was launched on April 6th 2020, as a content provider which is delivered in ten minute episodes called Quick Bites on mobile phones. Quibi’s target group was mainly a younger demographic. It is important to remember the fact that the founders decided to launch Quibi in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and when the American public were locked in their homes. The founders did not anticipate this act of god to severely derail their entire plans.
While the founders decided to go ahead with Quibi, one of the major problems was the content could only be streamed on mobile devices as the resolution was curated for a mobile viewing experience. The subscribers began complaining about not being able to watch the content on the big screen in their homes. It also launched without simple, easy ways to share or meme its shows on social media thereby decreasing the chances of talk being spread by word of mouth. Quibi had a subscription model which began after a 90 day free trial and it cost $4.99 a month with ads and $7.99 a month without ads. The number of subscribers for Quibi did not go according to plan as the numbers fell way below their forecasting and also due to the presence of streaming giants like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus and HBO Max. Since the pandemic had already begun to cripple employment, subscribers were forced to choose wisely on where to spend their money. There is also YouTube which is free and also has free ‘quick bite’ content meant Quibi’s chances of succeeding were becoming slim.
Jeffery Katzenberg initially hoped Quibi would be immune to the pandemic’s effect as people would want to consume more content. However, he later went on to blame the COVID-19 pandemic for everything which went wrong with Quibi. In an open letter both Whitman and Katzenberg wrote “Quibi is not succeeding. Likely for one of two reasons: because the idea itself wasn’t strong enough to justify a standalone streaming service or because of our timing. Unfortunately, we will never know but we suspect it’s been a combination of the two (sic.)”
Since the launch of Quibi, the application quickly fell out of the top 50 most downloaded apps within the first week.
Star Studded Signings
Quibi has recruited a who’s who of stars to work on its programming, including Chrissy Teigen, Lebron James, Dwayne Johnson, Reese Witherspoon, Chance the Rapper, Kevin Hart, Jennifer Lopez, Idris Elba, Zac Efron, Tina Fey, Liam Hemsworth, Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner. Some of the biggest names in Hollywood were roped in to make the series and they include Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro, Antoine Fuqua, Catherine Hardwicke and Ridley Scott.
Both Katzenberg and Whitman raised $1.75 billion to tackle the growing digital video market with Quibi. However, due to the mounting pile of problems and the lack of diversity in viewing choices forced Quibi into shutting down and began the process of selling assets. Quibi, which employed 265 people, plans to use its remaining cash of about $350 million to pay back investors. On October 21, 2020, just six months after Quibi’s launch, The Wall Street Journal reported that the streaming service was shutting down. This news was confirmed by the Quibi founders Jeffery Katezenberg and Meg Whitman.
The story of Quibi tells us that no one is immune in the cutthroat world of startups and entrepreneurship. While Quibi set out to take on the content streaming giants, it probably fell to its own Hubris by asking consumers to subscribe for unknown new content over already established content giants like Netfllix, Disney Plus and Amazon Prime Video.
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