Is Fashion Ready for the Artificial Intelligence Revolution?

date:14.04.2016 by:YDLFN News Team,

Is Fashion Ready for the Artificial Intelligence Revolution?

date: 07.04.2016 by: Diana Arhir via BusinessofFashion, image credits with courtesy of the Business of Fashion

 

 

 

 

If artificial intelligence has its way, discounting could disappear, thanks to software that tells retailers exactly what and how many products to buy, and when to put them on sale to sell them at full price. Online shopping could become a conversation, where the shopper describes the dress of their dreams, and, in seconds, an AI-powered search engine tracks down the closest match. Designers, merchandisers and buyers could all work alongside AI, to predict what customers want to wear, before they even know themselves.

In the last few years, a trifecta of cheap, ubiquitous, powerful computing; big data; and the development of deep learning have triggered a revolution in artificial intelligence. The computing devices that now fill our everyday lives generate large data sets, which “deep learning” algorithms analyse to find trends, make predictions and perform specific tasks, such as identifying specific objects in an image. The more data presented to the algorithm, the more it “learns” to do a task effectively.

Earlier this year, in a blog post titled What’s Next in Computing?, Chris Dixon, partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, wrote, “Many of the papers, data sets, and software tools related to deep learning have been open sourced. This has had a democratising effect, allowing individuals and small organisations to build powerful applications.” As a result, AI might “finally be entering a golden age,” he wrote.

These developments have provoked an AI arms race. Companies like Google and Apple are snapping up AI start-ups, and in the last year, milestones in the field have arrived faster than previously expected, such as last month, when Google's AlphaGo program beat a human champion at Go, a strategy board game considered more complex than chess.

Already, big businesses are using AI — Kensho, a data-crunching AI software, is automating finance jobs at Goldman Sachs, while Forbes uses AI to automate basic financial news stories. IBM’s Watson — a set of algorithms and software that is the company’s core AI product — is available as a cloud service, enabling research teams to rapidly analyse large amounts of data, such as millions of scientific papers, to test hypotheses and discover patterns. By 2020, the market for machine learning applications will reach $40 billion, according to International Data Corporation, a marketing firm specialising in information technology.

“No area of life or business will be insulated from AI, in the same way that there's no part of society that hasn't been touched by computers or the Internet,” Kenneth Cukier, data editor at The Economist and author of books including Big Data: A Revolution that Will Transform How We Work, Live and Think, told BoF. “Today it seems shocking because it's new. But in time, AI will fade into the background as just the way things are done.”

By presenting a cheaper, faster way of doing many tasks that companies currently employ humans to do, many predict AI will radically alter industries from transportation, to healthcare, to finance. In fashion, like in other industries, driverless trucks will likely reduce companies’ logistics costs, or software like that used by Forbes could be used to write formulaic text, such as product descriptions on e-commerce sites.

Original information here.


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