Embedding artificial intelligence in retail

Date: 7 July 2021

Time: 12:00 BST

The value of AI in retail is becoming more apparent as businesses increasingly adopt the use of AI products across their value chain. However, despite the appetite for using AI, its failure rate is often high, not delivering the desired results that were expected when the implementation began.

This talk provides an introduction to problems of real-time repeated decision-making in the face of uncertainty, commonly modelled via ‘multi-armed bandits’. Such problems arise in advertising (choosing what products to recommend), resource and inventory management (choosing what combinations of stock to hold), and the tuning of machine learning algorithms (choosing which parameters or frameworks to use). We covered some key models and algorithmic approaches to such problems which address the particular challenge of balancing between exploring the quality of poorly understood actions (products, stock levels, parameters) and exploiting the strong performance of well understood actions.

Agenda

The Speakers

James Grant

Statistics Lecturer, Lancaster University

Chris Boddington

Data Science Team Leader, Peak

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