The Retail Analytics Council and Platt Retail Institute presented the second annual Retail Robotics and AI Conference, which took place on April 11-12, 2019, at the Hilton Orrington Hotel in Evanston, IL (next to the Northwestern University campus).

Attendance was open to retailers only and limited to 150 participants. This included Retail Analytics Council Advisory Board members, C-level executives, academics, and leaders in the industry. The format was educational, knowledge advancement-based, with many opportunities to interact with the presenters and attendees. The Conference offered a unique opportunity to participate in the development of the retail industry’s research and technology through interaction with academics and professionals by means of expert panel discussions.

The Conference focused on implementing and executing retail AI strategies, as well as exploring emerging trends in retail robotics. Presentations by leading academics and retailers included:

  • U.S.-China Retailers, Consumer Trends, and AI
  • Observations on the State of Retail Technology and AI
  • How to Implement a Retail Analytics Function
  • Advanced Analytics in Customer-Centric Strategies
  • Bayesian Machine Learning Applied in Marketing
  • Data Privacy
  • Robots in Retail Competition Presentations
  • Robust Perception for Robotics Systems
  • Intelligent Automation
  • Current Retail Robot Applications and Benefits
  • Future Retail Robot Applications

RETAIL ATTENDEES (among others)

Abt Electronics

American Eagle Outfitters

AT&T

Big Y

Brookshire Grocery Company

Canadian Tire

Claire’s

Century 21 Department Stores

Facebook

Fast Retailing

Finish Line

GameStop

GAP

Gelson’s Markets

Giant Eagle

GIANT Food Stores

Google

Heinens Fine Foods

Hickory Farms

Hong Kong Shanghai Bank

Home Depot

Hudson Group

Hy-Vee, Inc.

Kohls

Kroger

Longo’s

Lowe’s

Lowe’s Foods

Macy’s

Neiman Marcus

NY&CO

Pacers Sports and Entertainment

Panera Bread

Price Chopper Supermarkets

Rite Aid

Roche Brothers Supermarkets

Sears

Shoot Point Blank

Studio Movie Grill

Target

Tractor Supply

Ulta Beauty

Wakefern Food Corp.

Walmart

Wegmans Food Markets

EVENT SPEAKERS

MAGALI BERVILLÉ

Sr. Dir. Digital Marketing, Moroccanoil

JOHN BLACK

Senior Vice President, New Product Development, Brain Corporation

DR. MARTIN BLOCK

Executive Director, Retail Analytics Council, and Professor, Northwestern University

JEFF BURNSTEIN

President, Association for Advancing Automation

CARI COVENT

VP, Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Automation, Canadian Tire Corporation

JEFF DONALDSON

CEO, Intriosity, and former CIO, GameStop

JUSTINE YOUNG GOTTSHALL

Partner, Information Law Group

DR. DON HIGH

Chief Scientist, Walmart

SRINI KANDALA

Head of Local Commerce, Innovation, and the Deep Learning Center, Sears Holdings Corporation

ANDRA KEAY

Managing Director and Founder, Silicon Valley Robotics

SACHIN KOTHARI

Managing Director of Global Privacy and Compliance, AT&T Inc.

BRENDA LEONG

Senior Counsel and Director of Strategy, Future of Privacy Forum

SEAN MACCARTHY

Executive Director of Global Analytics and Store Segmentation, Claire’s

MICHAEL McCULLOUGH

Chief Privacy Officer and V.P., Data Risk, Macy’s Inc.

DIANE RANDOLPH

CIO, ULTA Beauty

ROBERT MILLS

EVP, Chief Technology, Digital Commerce and Strategy Officer, Tractor Supply

DR. JOHN OSTREM

CEO and Co-Founder, AvatarMind

MAURICIO PAEZ

Cybersecurity and Data Protection Partner, Jones Day

STEVEN KEITH PLATT

Research Director, Retail Analytics Council, Adjunct Professor, Northwestern University, and Director and Research Fellow, Platt Retail Institute

JOHN PONNETT

SVP Operations, Giant Food Stores

ROB PRICE

Sr. Director, Data Science and Software Engineering, Walmart

WESLEY RHODES

VP of Technology Transformation, Kroger Corporation

TIM ROWLAND

CEO, Badger Technologies

DR. AHMAD SALAIMEH

Research Assistant Professor, University of Kentucky

DR. MARIOS SAVVIDES

Prof. of Robotics in AI and Dir. of CyLab Biometrics Center, Carnegie Mellon University

MATTHEW SEITZ

Head of Insights & Analytics, U.S. Retailers, Google

DR. DON E. SCHULTZ

Director, Retail Analytics Council, and Professor (Emeritus-in-Service), Northwestern University

RELVIN SUN

CEO and Co-Founder, HARB Data

AJ SUTERA

EVP, Chief Information and Technology Office, Finish Line

DR. MICHAEL L. THOMPSON

Research Fellow, The Procter & Gamble Company

CHARLOTTE C.J. TSOU

Global Head of Marketing & Channels Analytics, HSBC

DEBORAH WEINSWIG

CEO and Founder, Coresight Research

DAQING ZHAO

Director of Advanced Analytics, Macy's

SPONSORS

AGENDA

8:00-9:00am

Breakfast & Registration

9:00-9:15am

Introduction to the Conference

  1. Dr. Frank Mulhern, Director, Retail Analytics Council, Associate Dean and Professor, Northwestern University

9:15-10:30am

U.S.-China Retailers, Consumer Trends, and AI

Moderator: Charlotte Tsou, Global Head of Marketing & Channels Analytics, HSBC

  1. Dr. Martin Block, Executive Director, Retail Analytics Council, and Professor, Northwestern University
  2. Dr. Don E. Schultz, Director, Retail Analytics Council, and Professor (Emeritus-in-Service), Northwestern University
  3. Relvin Sun, CEO and Co-Founder, HARB Data
  4. Deborah Weinswig, CEO and Founder, Coresight Research

10:30-10:45am

Break

10:45am-12:00pm

Observations on the State of Retail Technology and AI

Moderator: Drew Ehlers, Global Director, Enterprise Software, Office of the CTO, Zebra Technologies Corporation

  1. Diane Randolph, CIO, ULTA Beauty
  2. Wesley Rhodes, COO Sunrise Technologies and VP Technology Transformation, Kroger
  3. AJ Sutera, EVP, Chief Information and Technology Office, Finish Line
 

In this presentation, leading retailers will discuss trends in retail technology adoption. A brief presentation by each speaker will be followed by a detailed discussion of emerging tech trends, challenges, adoption rates, and the future direction of retail tech.

12:00-1:00pm

Lunch

1:00-1:45pm

How to Implement a Retail Analytics Function

Rob Price, Sr. Director, Data Science and Software Engineering, Walmart

 

This session focuses on how to organize, execute, and manage an advanced analytics team. Topics addressed include: analytics of value, staffing, hardware and software criteria, organizational support, distribution of knowledge, as well as taking a centralized versus decentralized approach.

1:45-2:30pm

Advanced Analytics in Customer-Centric Strategies

Daqing Zhao, Director of Advanced Analytics, Macy’s

 

Macy's Advanced Analytics use data to build powerful tools to improve customer communications and understand customer retention via segmentation and life-time value analysis and modeling. We take a portfolio approach of various data sources, and modeling algorithms, using extensive test and experimentation to achieve Big Data AI solutions with sustaining benefits. There are many organizational implications, as well as data, analytics and modeling challenges. This session will discuss Macy’s experience in these areas.

2:30-3:00pm

Break

3:00-4:15pm

AI Use Cases

Moderator: Amin Shahidi, GVP Strategy Alliances and M&A, Sensormatic

  1. Srini Kandala, Head of Local Commerce, Innovation, and the Deep Learning Center, Sears Holdings Corporation
  2. Sean MacCarthy, Executive Director of Global Analytics and Store Segmentation, Claire’s
  3. Rob Mills, EVP, Chief Technology, Digital Commerce and Strategy Officer, Tractor Supply
  4. Matthew Seitz, Head of Insights & Analytics, U.S. Retailers, Google
 

Our retail panel will present four AI Use Cases. These include: 1. Influencing the Customer on the Path to Purchase; 2. Leveraging AI to Impact Store and Merchandising Decisions; 3.  Improving the Customer Experience through BOPIS (buy on line; pick up in store), and 4. Using Generative Adversarial Networks to Augment Customer Profiles with Synthetic Data. Issues identified, data applied, models built and deployed will be addressed, as well as discoveries made along the way.

4:15-5:00pm

Bayesian Machine Learning Applied in Marketing

Moderator: Andres Groisman, Co-Founder & CEO, NoiseGrasp

  1. Dr. Michael L. Thompson,  Research Fellow, The Procter & Gamble Company
  2. Magali Berville, Sr. Dir. Digital Marketing, Moroccanoil
 

Bayesian machine learning applied to marketing research transforms data collected at the aggregate market and individual consumer levels into insights that form the basis of profitable decisions. It does so by separating signal from noise with increasing certainty over time. This talk will introduce you to the ideas behind this technology. You can then readily recognize where Bayesian methods might offer value in your business and deduce whether your analytics resources are applying best practices. A use case will also be presented.

5:00-5:15pm

Summary

Dr. Don E. Schultz, Director, Retail Analytics Council, and Professor (Emeritus-in-Service), Northwestern University

5:30-6:30pm

RAC Lab and Campus Tour

7:00-10:00pm

Conference Reception

8:00-9:00am

Breakfast

9:00-9:15am

Introduction to Day Two

Tom Hayden, J.D. and Lecturer, Northwestern University

9:15-10:30am

Data Privacy

Moderator: Michael McCullough, Chief Privacy Officer and V.P., Data Risk, Macy’s Inc.

  1. Justine Gottshall, Partner, InfoLawGroup LLP
  2. Sachin Kothari, Managing Director, Global Privacy and Compliance, AT&T Inc. and Education Advisory Board Member, International Association for Privacy Professionals
  3. Brenda Leong, Senior Counsel and Director of Strategy, Future of Privacy Forum
  4. Mauricio Paez, Technology, Cybersecurity and Data Protection Partner, Jones Day
 

Leading privacy and security experts address current challenges for retailers related to AI, facial recognition, biometrics, employee monitoring and augmented reality with practical, “no regrets” approaches to managing in a rapidly changing compliance environment.

10:30-11:45am

Current Retail Robot Applications and Benefits

Moderator: Tim Hood, Chief Technology Officer, Consumer Industries, SAP

  1. John Black, Senior Vice President, New Product Development, Brain Corporation
  2. Dr. Don High, Chief Scientist, Walmart
  3. John Ponnett, SVP Operations, Giant Food Stores
  4. Tim Rowland, CEO, Badger Technologies
 

Adoption by retailers of robots is slowly increasing, as they have the potential to impact store operations. In this session, robotic experts and retailers will share pragmatic advice on how robots are being deployed and the benefits that are being realized. Specific use cases will be explored, including shelf-audit, inspection, and maintenance. In addition, the issue of data application will be explored.

11:45am-1:00pm

Lunch

1:00-2:00pm

Robots in Retail Competition

Moderator: Jeff Donaldson, CEO, Intriosity, and former CIO, GameStop

  1. Michael Chambers, Chief Evangelist, UiPath
  2. Nikolaus Correll, CTO, Robotic Materials
  3. Brandon Maseda, Co-Founder and CEO, Accel Robotics
 

Retailers are evaluating the potential of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) to drive significant advancements in consumer experience, product and service design, labor productivity, core retail capabilities, and workforce upskilling. For successful implementation of digital transformation strategies, the ability to source innovative, often disruptive, solutions from robotics companies that deliver value in one or more of these areas is increasingly critical. In this session, three finalists from the first-ever RAC Retail Robotics Competition will present their solutions, and delineate the unique benefits that consumers and retailers can derive from them.

2:00-2:45pm

Robust Perception for Robotics Systems

Dr. Marios Savvides, Prof. of Robotics in AI and Dir. of CyLab Biometrics Center, Carnegie Mellon University

 

In his presentation, Dr. Hebert will discuss robotic introspection (self-awareness of performance), rapid learning and adaptation, anytime algorithms for deep learning, multiple hypothesis generation, etc. Examples from actual systems will be presented.

2:45-3:00pm

Break

3:00-3:45pm

Intelligent Automation

Cari Covent, VP, Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Automation, Canadian Tire Corporation

 

Responding to large technological shocks like AI for a century old retailer is challenging but has significant potential. This session will concentrate on how Canadian Tire is focused on the practical application of Intelligent Automation to drive high gain and high impact results. This 96-year-old retailer is using a high-fidelity model that links innovation to change using a combination of behavioral science frameworks, machine learning, and automation. This session will also explore specific use cases that demonstrate the power of recruiting the right talent, the benefit of re-framing the question, and using low code solutions to improve customer experience.

3:45-4:45pm

Future Retail Robot Applications

Moderator: Steven Keith Platt, Research Director, Retail Analytics Council and Director and Research Fellow, Platt Retail Institute

  1. Jeff Burnstein, President, The Association for Advancing Automation
  2. Andra Keay, Managing Director and Founder, Silicon Valley Robotics
  3. John S. Ostrem, Ph.D., CEO, AvatarMind
  4. Dr. Ahmad Salaimeh, Research Assistant Professor, University of Kentucky
 

New applications for robots are emerging, but which will have commercial success? In this session, an expert panel will be presented with three robot concepts. Each will share their view on the feasibility to produce such a robot, the likely benefits to be realized, and the potential for  adoption. Applications to be explored include inventory accuracy via RFID, shelf-stocking, and merchandise detection (of product freshness and for traceability).

4:45-5:00pm

Conference Concluding Remarks

Dr. Don E. Schultz, Director, Retail Analytics Council, and Professor (Emeritus-in-Service), Northwestern University

Observations on the State of Retail Technology and AI
Thursday, April 11 — 10:45am-12:00pm

In this presentation, leading retailers will discuss trends in retail technology adoption. A brief presentation by each speaker will be followed by a detailed discussion of emerging tech trends, challenges, adoption rates, and the future direction of retail tech.

 

How to Implement a Retail Analytics Function
Thursday, April 11 — 1:00-1:45pm

This session focuses on how to organize, execute, and manage an advanced analytics team. Topics addressed include: analytics of value, staffing, hardware and software criteria, organizational support, distribution of knowledge, as well as taking a centralized versus decentralized approach.

 

Advanced Analytics in Customer-Centric Strategies
Thursday, April 11 — 1:45-2:30pm

Macy’s Advanced Analytics use data to build powerful tools to improve customer communications and understand customer retention via segmentation and life-time value analysis and modeling. We take a portfolio approach of various data sources, and modeling algorithms, using extensive test and experimentation to achieve Big Data AI solutions with sustaining benefits. There are many organizational implications, as well as data, analytics and modeling challenges. This session will discuss Macy’s experience in these areas.

 

AI Use Cases
Thursday, April 11 — 3:00-4:15pm

Our retail panel will present four AI Use Cases. These include: 1. Influencing the Customer on the Path to Purchase; 2. Leveraging AI to Impact Store and Merchandising Decisions; 3.  Improving the Customer Experience through BOPIS (buy on line; pick up in store), and 4. Using Generative Adversarial Networks to Augment Customer Profiles with Synthetic Data. Issues identified, data applied, models built and deployed will be addressed, as well as discoveries made along the way.

 

Bayesian Machine Learning Applied in Marketing

Thursday, April 11 — 4:15-5:00pm

Bayesian machine learning applied to marketing research transforms data collected at the aggregate market and individual consumer levels into insights that form the basis of profitable decisions. It does so by separating signal from noise with increasing certainty over time. This talk will introduce you to the ideas behind this technology. You can then readily recognize where Bayesian methods might offer value in your business and deduce whether your analytics resources are applying best practices. A use case will also be presented.

 

Data Privacy
Friday, April 12 — 9:15-10:30am

Leading privacy and security experts address current challenges for retailers related to AI, facial recognition, biometrics, employee monitoring and augmented reality with practical, “no regrets” approaches to managing in a rapidly changing compliance environment.

 

Current Retail Robot Applications and Benefits
Friday, April 12 — 10:30-11:45am

Adoption by retailers of robots is slowly increasing, as they have the potential to impact store operations. In this session, robotic experts and retailers will share pragmatic advice on how robots are being deployed and the benefits that are being realized. Specific use cases will be explored, including shelf-audit, inspection, and maintenance. In addition, the issue of data application will be explored.

 

Robots in Retail Competition
Friday, April 12 — 1:00-2:00pm

Retailers are evaluating the potential of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) to drive significant advancements in consumer experience, product and service design, labor productivity, core retail capabilities, and workforce upskilling. For successful implementation of digital transformation strategies, the ability to source innovative, often disruptive, solutions from robotics companies that deliver value in one or more of these areas is increasingly critical. In this session, three finalists from the first-ever RAC Retail Robotics Competition will present their solutions, and delineate the unique benefits that consumers and retailers can derive from them.

 

Robust Perception for Robotics Systems
Friday, April 12 — 2:00-2:45pm

In his presentation, Dr. Hebert will discuss robotic introspection (self-awareness of performance), rapid learning and adaptation, anytime algorithms for deep learning, multiple hypothesis generation, etc. Examples from actual systems will be presented.

 

Intelligent Automation
Friday, April 12 — 3:00-3:45pm

Responding to large technological shocks like AI for a century old retailer is challenging but has significant potential.  This session will concentrate on how Canadian Tire is focused on the practical application of Intelligent Automation to drive high gain and high impact results.  This 96-year-old retailer is using a high-fidelity model that links innovation to change using a combination of behavioral science frameworks, machine learning, and automation.  This session will also explore specific use cases that demonstrate the power of recruiting the right talent, the benefit of re-framing the question, and using low code solutions to improve customer experience.

 

Future Retail Robot Applications
Friday, April 12 — 3:45-4:45pm

New applications for robots are emerging, but which will have commercial success? In this session, an expert panel will be presented with three robot concepts. Each will share their view on the feasibility to produce such a robot, the likely benefits to be realized, and the potential for adoption. Applications to be explored include inventory accuracy via RFID, shelf-stocking, and merchandise detection (of product freshness and for traceability).

+ Thursday, April 11

8:00-9:00am

Breakfast & Registration

9:00-9:15am

Introduction to the Conference

  1. Dr. Frank Mulhern, Director, Retail Analytics Council, Associate Dean and Professor, Northwestern University

9:15-10:30am

U.S.-China Retailers, Consumer Trends, and AI

Moderator: Charlotte Tsou, Global Head of Marketing & Channels Analytics, HSBC

  1. Dr. Martin Block, Executive Director, Retail Analytics Council, and Professor, Northwestern University
  2. Dr. Don E. Schultz, Director, Retail Analytics Council, and Professor (Emeritus-in-Service), Northwestern University
  3. Relvin Sun, CEO and Co-Founder, HARB Data
  4. Deborah Weinswig, CEO and Founder, Coresight Research

10:30-10:45am

Break

10:45am-12:00pm

Observations on the State of Retail Technology and AI

Moderator: Drew Ehlers, Global Director, Enterprise Software, Office of the CTO, Zebra Technologies Corporation

  1. Diane Randolph, CIO, ULTA Beauty
  2. Wesley Rhodes, COO Sunrise Technologies and VP Technology Transformation, Kroger
  3. AJ Sutera, EVP, Chief Information and Technology Office, Finish Line
 

In this presentation, leading retailers will discuss trends in retail technology adoption. A brief presentation by each speaker will be followed by a detailed discussion of emerging tech trends, challenges, adoption rates, and the future direction of retail tech.

12:00-1:00pm

Lunch

1:00-1:45pm

How to Implement a Retail Analytics Function

Rob Price, Sr. Director, Data Science and Software Engineering, Walmart

 

This session focuses on how to organize, execute, and manage an advanced analytics team. Topics addressed include: analytics of value, staffing, hardware and software criteria, organizational support, distribution of knowledge, as well as taking a centralized versus decentralized approach.

1:45-2:30pm

Advanced Analytics in Customer-Centric Strategies

Daqing Zhao, Director of Advanced Analytics, Macy’s

 

Macy's Advanced Analytics use data to build powerful tools to improve customer communications and understand customer retention via segmentation and life-time value analysis and modeling. We take a portfolio approach of various data sources, and modeling algorithms, using extensive test and experimentation to achieve Big Data AI solutions with sustaining benefits. There are many organizational implications, as well as data, analytics and modeling challenges. This session will discuss Macy’s experience in these areas.

2:30-3:00pm

Break

3:00-4:15pm

AI Use Cases

Moderator: Amin Shahidi, GVP Strategy Alliances and M&A, Sensormatic

  1. Srini Kandala, Head of Local Commerce, Innovation, and the Deep Learning Center, Sears Holdings Corporation
  2. Sean MacCarthy, Executive Director of Global Analytics and Store Segmentation, Claire’s
  3. Rob Mills, EVP, Chief Technology, Digital Commerce and Strategy Officer, Tractor Supply
  4. Matthew Seitz, Head of Insights & Analytics, U.S. Retailers, Google
 

Our retail panel will present four AI Use Cases. These include: 1. Influencing the Customer on the Path to Purchase; 2. Leveraging AI to Impact Store and Merchandising Decisions; 3.  Improving the Customer Experience through BOPIS (buy on line; pick up in store), and 4. Using Generative Adversarial Networks to Augment Customer Profiles with Synthetic Data. Issues identified, data applied, models built and deployed will be addressed, as well as discoveries made along the way.

4:15-5:00pm

Bayesian Machine Learning Applied in Marketing

Moderator: Andres Groisman, Co-Founder & CEO, NoiseGrasp

  1. Dr. Michael L. Thompson,  Research Fellow, The Procter & Gamble Company
  2. Magali Berville, Sr. Dir. Digital Marketing, Moroccanoil
 

Bayesian machine learning applied to marketing research transforms data collected at the aggregate market and individual consumer levels into insights that form the basis of profitable decisions. It does so by separating signal from noise with increasing certainty over time. This talk will introduce you to the ideas behind this technology. You can then readily recognize where Bayesian methods might offer value in your business and deduce whether your analytics resources are applying best practices. A use case will also be presented.

5:00-5:15pm

Summary

Dr. Don E. Schultz, Director, Retail Analytics Council, and Professor (Emeritus-in-Service), Northwestern University

5:30-6:30pm

RAC Lab and Campus Tour

7:00-10:00pm

Conference Reception

+ Friday, April 12

8:00-9:00am

Breakfast

9:00-9:15am

Introduction to Day Two

Tom Hayden, J.D. and Lecturer, Northwestern University

9:15-10:30am

Data Privacy

Moderator: Michael McCullough, Chief Privacy Officer and V.P., Data Risk, Macy’s Inc.

  1. Justine Gottshall, Partner, InfoLawGroup LLP
  2. Sachin Kothari, Managing Director, Global Privacy and Compliance, AT&T Inc. and Education Advisory Board Member, International Association for Privacy Professionals
  3. Brenda Leong, Senior Counsel and Director of Strategy, Future of Privacy Forum
  4. Mauricio Paez, Technology, Cybersecurity and Data Protection Partner, Jones Day
 

Leading privacy and security experts address current challenges for retailers related to AI, facial recognition, biometrics, employee monitoring and augmented reality with practical, “no regrets” approaches to managing in a rapidly changing compliance environment.

10:30-11:45am

Current Retail Robot Applications and Benefits

Moderator: Tim Hood, Chief Technology Officer, Consumer Industries, SAP

  1. John Black, Senior Vice President, New Product Development, Brain Corporation
  2. Dr. Don High, Chief Scientist, Walmart
  3. John Ponnett, SVP Operations, Giant Food Stores
  4. Tim Rowland, CEO, Badger Technologies
 

Adoption by retailers of robots is slowly increasing, as they have the potential to impact store operations. In this session, robotic experts and retailers will share pragmatic advice on how robots are being deployed and the benefits that are being realized. Specific use cases will be explored, including shelf-audit, inspection, and maintenance. In addition, the issue of data application will be explored.

11:45am-1:00pm

Lunch

1:00-2:00pm

Robots in Retail Competition

Moderator: Jeff Donaldson, CEO, Intriosity, and former CIO, GameStop

  1. Michael Chambers, Chief Evangelist, UiPath
  2. Nikolaus Correll, CTO, Robotic Materials
  3. Brandon Maseda, Co-Founder and CEO, Accel Robotics
 

Retailers are evaluating the potential of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) to drive significant advancements in consumer experience, product and service design, labor productivity, core retail capabilities, and workforce upskilling. For successful implementation of digital transformation strategies, the ability to source innovative, often disruptive, solutions from robotics companies that deliver value in one or more of these areas is increasingly critical. In this session, three finalists from the first-ever RAC Retail Robotics Competition will present their solutions, and delineate the unique benefits that consumers and retailers can derive from them.

2:00-2:45pm

Robust Perception for Robotics Systems

Dr. Marios Savvides, Prof. of Robotics in AI and Dir. of CyLab Biometrics Center, Carnegie Mellon University

 

In his presentation, Dr. Hebert will discuss robotic introspection (self-awareness of performance), rapid learning and adaptation, anytime algorithms for deep learning, multiple hypothesis generation, etc. Examples from actual systems will be presented.

2:45-3:00pm

Break

3:00-3:45pm

Intelligent Automation

Cari Covent, VP, Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Automation, Canadian Tire Corporation

 

Responding to large technological shocks like AI for a century old retailer is challenging but has significant potential. This session will concentrate on how Canadian Tire is focused on the practical application of Intelligent Automation to drive high gain and high impact results. This 96-year-old retailer is using a high-fidelity model that links innovation to change using a combination of behavioral science frameworks, machine learning, and automation. This session will also explore specific use cases that demonstrate the power of recruiting the right talent, the benefit of re-framing the question, and using low code solutions to improve customer experience.

3:45-4:45pm

Future Retail Robot Applications

Moderator: Steven Keith Platt, Research Director, Retail Analytics Council and Director and Research Fellow, Platt Retail Institute

  1. Jeff Burnstein, President, The Association for Advancing Automation
  2. Andra Keay, Managing Director and Founder, Silicon Valley Robotics
  3. John S. Ostrem, Ph.D., CEO, AvatarMind
  4. Dr. Ahmad Salaimeh, Research Assistant Professor, University of Kentucky
 

New applications for robots are emerging, but which will have commercial success? In this session, an expert panel will be presented with three robot concepts. Each will share their view on the feasibility to produce such a robot, the likely benefits to be realized, and the potential for  adoption. Applications to be explored include inventory accuracy via RFID, shelf-stocking, and merchandise detection (of product freshness and for traceability).

4:45-5:00pm

Conference Concluding Remarks

Dr. Don E. Schultz, Director, Retail Analytics Council, and Professor (Emeritus-in-Service), Northwestern University

+ Session Descriptions

Observations on the State of Retail Technology and AI
Thursday, April 11 — 10:45am-12:00pm

In this presentation, leading retailers will discuss trends in retail technology adoption. A brief presentation by each speaker will be followed by a detailed discussion of emerging tech trends, challenges, adoption rates, and the future direction of retail tech.

 

How to Implement a Retail Analytics Function
Thursday, April 11 — 1:00-1:45pm

This session focuses on how to organize, execute, and manage an advanced analytics team. Topics addressed include: analytics of value, staffing, hardware and software criteria, organizational support, distribution of knowledge, as well as taking a centralized versus decentralized approach.

 

Advanced Analytics in Customer-Centric Strategies
Thursday, April 11 — 1:45-2:30pm

Macy’s Advanced Analytics use data to build powerful tools to improve customer communications and understand customer retention via segmentation and life-time value analysis and modeling. We take a portfolio approach of various data sources, and modeling algorithms, using extensive test and experimentation to achieve Big Data AI solutions with sustaining benefits. There are many organizational implications, as well as data, analytics and modeling challenges. This session will discuss Macy’s experience in these areas.

 

AI Use Cases
Thursday, April 11 — 3:00-4:15pm

Our retail panel will present four AI Use Cases. These include: 1. Influencing the Customer on the Path to Purchase; 2. Leveraging AI to Impact Store and Merchandising Decisions; 3.  Improving the Customer Experience through BOPIS (buy on line; pick up in store), and 4. Using Generative Adversarial Networks to Augment Customer Profiles with Synthetic Data. Issues identified, data applied, models built and deployed will be addressed, as well as discoveries made along the way.

 

Bayesian Machine Learning Applied in Marketing

Thursday, April 11 — 4:15-5:00pm

Bayesian machine learning applied to marketing research transforms data collected at the aggregate market and individual consumer levels into insights that form the basis of profitable decisions. It does so by separating signal from noise with increasing certainty over time. This talk will introduce you to the ideas behind this technology. You can then readily recognize where Bayesian methods might offer value in your business and deduce whether your analytics resources are applying best practices. A use case will also be presented.

 

Data Privacy
Friday, April 12 — 9:15-10:30am

Leading privacy and security experts address current challenges for retailers related to AI, facial recognition, biometrics, employee monitoring and augmented reality with practical, “no regrets” approaches to managing in a rapidly changing compliance environment.

 

Current Retail Robot Applications and Benefits
Friday, April 12 — 10:30-11:45am

Adoption by retailers of robots is slowly increasing, as they have the potential to impact store operations. In this session, robotic experts and retailers will share pragmatic advice on how robots are being deployed and the benefits that are being realized. Specific use cases will be explored, including shelf-audit, inspection, and maintenance. In addition, the issue of data application will be explored.

 

Robots in Retail Competition
Friday, April 12 — 1:00-2:00pm

Retailers are evaluating the potential of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) to drive significant advancements in consumer experience, product and service design, labor productivity, core retail capabilities, and workforce upskilling. For successful implementation of digital transformation strategies, the ability to source innovative, often disruptive, solutions from robotics companies that deliver value in one or more of these areas is increasingly critical. In this session, three finalists from the first-ever RAC Retail Robotics Competition will present their solutions, and delineate the unique benefits that consumers and retailers can derive from them.

 

Robust Perception for Robotics Systems
Friday, April 12 — 2:00-2:45pm

In his presentation, Dr. Hebert will discuss robotic introspection (self-awareness of performance), rapid learning and adaptation, anytime algorithms for deep learning, multiple hypothesis generation, etc. Examples from actual systems will be presented.

 

Intelligent Automation
Friday, April 12 — 3:00-3:45pm

Responding to large technological shocks like AI for a century old retailer is challenging but has significant potential.  This session will concentrate on how Canadian Tire is focused on the practical application of Intelligent Automation to drive high gain and high impact results.  This 96-year-old retailer is using a high-fidelity model that links innovation to change using a combination of behavioral science frameworks, machine learning, and automation.  This session will also explore specific use cases that demonstrate the power of recruiting the right talent, the benefit of re-framing the question, and using low code solutions to improve customer experience.

 

Future Retail Robot Applications
Friday, April 12 — 3:45-4:45pm

New applications for robots are emerging, but which will have commercial success? In this session, an expert panel will be presented with three robot concepts. Each will share their view on the feasibility to produce such a robot, the likely benefits to be realized, and the potential for adoption. Applications to be explored include inventory accuracy via RFID, shelf-stocking, and merchandise detection (of product freshness and for traceability).