From robots that do inventory to stores with no employees – policy makers need to keep an eye on some of these innovations
According to the Commerce Department online only accounts for about 12% of sales, leaving the rest to be made up by physical stores. Technology is bringing some big changes to retail in the coming years. And policy makers need to keep an eye on some of these innovations.
Do we want stores with no employees? AiFI a Calif. startup is using artificial intelligence to fully automate the retail experience. Being able to walk into a market, pick up what you want and leave – while AI tracks you and everything you leave with, charging your credit card post-departure – may provide great convenience, but what about consumer privacy and what about the loss of retail jobs ? Bossa Nova is a robotics company that provides stores like Wal-Mart with a robot that roams the aisles checking inventory. San Diego’s Brain Corp provides robotic janitors for retail spaces. Other companies, like Pixvana are embracing workers and developing software to help in their job training, while RocketFuel another new company is working on ways to enhance the security of consumer online payments.
There’s a fear that AI is going to take over our jobs – and with the advent of everything from self-driving cars to artificial customer service agents, it’s a valid concern. It’s especially fair when McKinsey, one of the most trusted global management consulting firms, predicts that as many as 800 million full-time employees could have their work displaced by 2030 due to automation
Yet, that data point alone is not reality. In fact, with the following statistics next to it, we can paint a much better picture for the future of work. According to the same McKinsey report:
Less than 5 percent of occupations consist of activities that can be fully automated
In about 60 percent of occupations, only one-third of tasks could be automated
IT professionals are certainly up for it. Because while their jobs are becoming more complex and time consuming, their numbers in business are not increasing to balance this growth. The principal value of AI in IT is that it can help predict problems rather than just react to them – i.e. prevent problems rather than just attempt to mitigate them. more at Forbes
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