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The Future of our Consumer Society

We now live in a day and age where technology has completely transformed the way we live. Technology has allowed us to engage in activities at capacities and speeds we previously thought impossible.  Simultaneously, technology has made us into a society completely dependent on it, which creates a double-edged sword. Some of the most recent and innovative technologies have come in the artificial intelligence (AI) & machine learning (ML) space. And, the biggest industries affected by these raging appetites for this technology are the retail & commerce, and entertainment industries.

 

The retail & commerce market space used to solely be a physical space where brick and mortar stores were the only way that people could interact and experience shopping.  With the invention of the internet and modern-day technology, we now live in an age where shopping can be done seamlessly from any device, anywhere, and we are seeing a shifting away from the anachronistic ways of old. Digital transformation comes with its own challenges as now the same problems that people experienced in stores are being brought online to the digital marketplace with its own set of unique challenges. Some of these challenges include: not being able to communicate exactly what you want, too much time to find what you want along with inaccurate and frustrating search results. These problems are similar to the ones that people experienced in the stores, but because the online marketplace depends on the digital interface, the entire process has to be made in a way so that online e-commerce businesses can increase their conversion rates of buyers and the number of items per transaction. In order to increase conversion rates and improve customer experience, companies such as Macty, and Snap Tech are relying on new technologies that use AI & machine learning to help not only speed up some of the facets of the user experience, but also the overall quality.

 

Macty is an artificial intelligence start up based in Belgium aimed at helping retailers and fashion brands increase sales using AI. They want to help retailers and fashion brands create a user experience that is tailored to each individual user and AI/ML helps them achieve this goal. The process for their site is simple to use, but, behind the scenes, utilizes a lot of complicated algorithms to create a quick and seamless process for the user. The user starts by uploading an image of a similar piece of clothing that they wish to purchase. This image then triggers the AI/ML algorithms to match items in the store that they are shopping in within seconds. It also has the functionality to help the user complete the look by matching it with items that complement the original outfit. By using this technology, the user is able to use visual search to not only find the clothes that they want in an easy manner, but also leads to much higher conversion rates and sales for the retailers and brands, which again is the ultimate end goal.

Another company that utilizes visual search and AI/ML technologies to augment the shopping user experience is Snap Tech. Snap Tech is an intelligent fashion matching technology for enterprise retailers needing to increase online platform profitability, satisfy consumer purchase intent and improve digital customer experience. A shopper can upload a picture of a dress in a color they like and then search for shoes, scarves, and handbags in that same or matching shade. This allows for the companies to better display all of their products because now customers will be able to visualize all relevant items matching their search, which leads to better conversion rates. Having better product discoverability also directly correlates to a better user experience, which drives page engagement and the likelihood of repeat customers. We have been conditioned to expect results at a very high speed and these companies have been able to deliver on this experience using AI/ML technology.

 

 

The entertainment industry is another industry that has grown at an extremely robust rate. The explosion of media has created this never-ending desire and necessity for media companies to keep up with all the latest trends. IdenTV helps alleviate some of these problems by using AI/ML to convert unstructured video into searchable and actionable metadata. This helps transform how users can search for, understand and interact with video assets. Their solutions are deployed in both the commercial and federal sectors, to help tackle content challenges for organizations through AI-enabled computer vision for video. It leverages many AI technologies like natural language processing (NLP). With Oracle Cloud, IDenTV has been able to scale their AI-based business.

 

 

 

AI and ML on their own are simply just technologies.  However, when you apply these concepts to specific digital use cases, the customer experience becomes instantly more valuable.  These industries have been able to keep up with the exploding technology sector by using innovative technology to keep them apace. AI/ML have become the crux for the future generation of technology and moving forward will be the baseline of what ties technology to human behavior, creating an even more seamless experience for people than what currently exists.

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