AI & Shopping
By Evie Crossland
16th November 2018

If you are anything like me, you will have become addicted to online shopping. And like me your addiction might have led you to questioning if you are buying things unnecessarily. Asking yourself: Am I wasting my money?

So, as Black Friday creeps around the corner, I thought I would do some digging to see how Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are spending our money for us.

With Google purchasing ‘DeepMind Technologies’, an artificial intelligence company founded back in September 2010, we are certainly seeing how their technology is impacting online shopping. Good for business, bad for our bank accounts!

Have you ever been on your phone and spontaneously googled ‘Flights to Dubai’ or ‘Green flips flops with pink roses’ and next thing it is all over your Facebook and Instagram feeds? Well, that’s where AI and ML come in.

Every time we search for one of our random impulse purchases our phones, and the apps we have downloaded, are collecting data on us. This data is being collected from millions of phones across the world and is being used to help companies predict what, why, where and how we will shop, ultimately driving how they advertise certain products to us.

As well as dangling luxury flights across your Instagram, AI and ML has also been used to recommend products to shoppers based on previous customer activity. For example, when purchasing something online adding the item to your shopping bag isn’t enough anymore, the website then provides other items which previous shoppers also bought to increase sales and shift their stock!

Now when I am last minute shopping for a new dress, I don’t need to sieve through 10,000 dresses to find the right one, AI and ML are doing it for me!

This same data is being collected by online retailers to help them understand the customer’s needs, as well as their shopping habits. Some retailers are starting to apply this data to AI programs to give personalized recommendations to customers, and to maximize purchases.

North Face is currently using IBM Watson to do just that. By using their online tool shoppers can answer a few simple questions based on what they are looking for and the tool, using AI, will suggest the best product for their needs.

It’s clear that Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are driving our shopping habits, from personalized ads to suggested products. As the technology continues to develop, I’m interested to see how else companies will continue to utilize and develop new tools to help us spend (or waste) our money.

Do you think AI and ML is having an impact on the way we shop? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below

KDR Recruitment is the home of the best Information Management and Data Analytics jobs. For more AI news and views check out the KDR blog or follow KDR on LinkedIn.

This blog was originally published on LinkedIn. To read the original blog please click here.

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