Walmart is looking to challenge Amazon using a tool the latter already relies on: artificial intelligence (AI).
Amazon is the world’s leading e-commerce platform and has been challenging Walmart, Target, and other traditional brands in the broader retail market. A key to Amazon’s success has been its use of AI and machine learning (ML) for more than two decades. According to TheStreet, Walmart is getting in on the action, testing its own AI for the last few years.
While Amazon made headlines for its new Proteus and Cardinal warehouse robots, its use of AI goes far beyond robots. The company uses AI and ML to handle multiple aspects of customer service and delivery, including product suggestions, re-order reminders, and more.
Walmart is looking to roll out similar solutions in an effort to better compete with the e-commerce giant. As TheStreet points out, the pandemic put Walmart’s plans into overdrive. Between labor shortages and wage increases, AI is suddenly a critical component now, rather than being something that may be useful in the future.
As part of its initiative, Walmart purchased just over 10% of AI firm Symbotic Inc. The company plans to use Symbotic to help run its distribution centers and relieve its employees of some of the manual, labor-intensive tasks.
Once the realm of science fiction, the last few years have helped make AI an everyday reality that companies of all sizes depend on. Just ask Walmart.