Building the Next Generation of AI, with Helixa

Artificial Intelligence touches just about every facet of our modern lives, and its effect on marketing cannot be overstated. So, when you want to learn about what’s now, new, and next in AI, who do you turn to other than the folks that are building it? Today we’re joined by Antonio Maiorino and Alberto Mario Pirovano of Helixa, to talk about the evolving world of marketing automation, from next-gen chatbots to natural language processing. The two shared a peek behind the curtain on new developments in the company and discussed what other innovations could come from cracking the code of processing natural language.

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Are Instagram's Reels... for Real? Exploring Options in a World Where TikTok's Time May Be Up

TikTok’s popularity quickly exploded on the mobile video app scene, and marketers followed suit. Recent controversies over TikTok’s data collection and privacy practices, however, have put the future of the app in the U.S. into question, and this poses a distinct loss for brands carving out a niche there. Amidst this chaos, Instagram launched a similar service – Reels – and while brands certainly want to include Instagram’s latest effort into their marketing mix, the question remains: will it be as effective as TikTok, whether it stays or goes? The resources here look at how lucrative Instagram’s Reels can be, and how to use them for marketing.

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Pulse Issue 14

Rock ‘Em Shop ‘Em Robots (In Retail)

February 2020

By Josch Chodakowsky, Research Manager at Ask the Expert
By Josch Chodakowsky, Research Manager at Ask the Expert
Artificial Intelligence has already rapidly advanced automation tools, and is now taking things a step further by moving into autonomy. The Robotic Industries Association (RIA) reported that North American robot sales increased 5.2 percent, compared to 2018.  And while robots have already been used behind the scenes in auto and fulfillment industries, we’re now ready to see them working alongside their human counterparts. The resources in this Pulse issue explore the presence of robots in the retail space, and what marketers can expect.
Robotics and artificial intelligence solutions that promise to solve several inventory and labor issues for retailers were touted at the National Retail Federation trade show, NRF 2020. The three biggest areas that robot vendors promised to solve fell around inventory tracking and shelf analytics (noticing when items were out of stock), planogram compliance (making sure that products were placed correctly on shelves to match a planned display), and price accuracy (making sure products have the right price on a shelf, but also to match online pricing). This article offers further takeaways from the show.
As retailers look to trim costs and streamline operations, particularly along the supply chain, robots are only going to become more entrenched in retail’s day-to-day operations, taking on greater roles and interacting with employees and consumers alike as AI becomes smarter. By 2025, more than 150,000 mobile robots will be deployed in brick-and-mortar retail establishments, according to an estimation by ABI Research.
Retail robots prove their worth daily as they gain credibility for helping grocers boost operational efficiencies through faster hazard detection and more fastidious inventory management. They’re capable of performing a variety of tasks, such as augmenting customer service and security teams while also checking on other aspects of store operations, including refrigeration, lighting, and security. Just like with any retail employee, training is required. But how do you train a retail robot? This discusses lessons learned while shepherding grocery robots as they’ve logged more than 250,000 miles of pilot runs and hundreds of actual deployments.
A survey by business process outsourcing firm Sykes Enterprises found that U.S. workers were less fearful of the age of automation than popularly portrayed. Some two-thirds of those surveyed drew a positive connotation with intelligent automation-related terminology. The survey consisted of 17 questions — ranging from how many people they know who have faced job loss due to automation, if any automation programs have saved them time at work this year, what they're doing to stay current with the changes in workplace tech, how their employers are preparing them for the future of work, and more. 
Robots are becoming an increasingly common sight in grocery stores and other large shops around the nation. Retailers often tell their customers that the robots are there to monitor for spills, broken glass, and other hazards. While that is true, it is only part of the story. The real driver behind retail robots is inventory management. It represents the perfect storm of data science, sensors, robotics, and the cloud.
Are you an ANA member with a research request? Contact Ask the Expert to submit your question.

About ANA Marketing Futures

Knowing that marketers are increasingly challenged in their efforts to keep up with the latest trends and technologies, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) tasked itself with creating a program designed to help marketers anticipate—and prepare for—the future of marketing.

 

ANA Marketing Futures is what emerged. With a focus on innovative topics and emerging trends, ANA Marketing Futures provides resources that will influence and inform via member cases, research studies, and insight from industry innovators. Check back often to learn about emerging trends and become inspired to take steps toward the growth of your business.

 

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