The first partnership for the new Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence (ICAI) will be with supermarket giant Ahold Delhaize. At the AI For Retail Lab (AIRLab), seven PhDs will conduct research into socially responsible algorithms that can be used to make consumer recommendations and more efficiently manage the flow of goods. Research will take place at the Ahold Delhaize brands Albert Heijn and bol.com.
“Artificial intelligence offers countless possibilities for the retail industry, the consumer and society at large,” said Frans Muller, Deputy CEO of Ahold Delhaize in a statement. “For instance, we will look at how to further optimize Albert Heijn’s supply chain by, for example, improving the availability of goods by taking into account local weather conditions. Also, we will investigate ways to make the assortment of bol.com even more accessible to customers. These insights and knowledge can be applied to our brands in the U.S. and Europe.”
ICAI, located at the Amsterdam Science Park, is focused on the joint development of AI technology through industry labs with the business sector, government and knowledge institutes. The University of Amsterdam and the VU University Amsterdam collaborated to launch the initiative, which is built around multi-year partnerships between academic and industrial partners aimed at technological and talent development.
“AI will influence every sector of society,” said Maarten de Rijke, Director of ICAI and Professor of Information Retrieval at the University of Amsterdam in a statement. “The partnership with Ahold Delhaize is of major importance because with it we are making a serious investment in the development of AI talent and AI technology outside of the traditional technology sector.”
Just under half (47%) of surveyed shoppers are comfortable with companies using AI in business, according to a recent survey from SAS. Retailers including eBay, Cosabella and 1-800-Flowers.com have shared real-world examples of using AI to boost customer satisfaction, increase conversions and generate higher revenues.