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Walmart is using AI to combat checkout theft in 1,000 stores

Those pesky AI’s get everywhere.

walmart cart in store
Image: TalkMarket

When you think of Walmart you don’t usually jump to advanced technology, but that’s what’s being used to deter theft and other things at the checkout.

According to a report by Business Insider, Walmart is using advanced computer vision tech to reduce “shrink,” the term retailers use for things like theft, scanning errors, and fraud.

Walmart isn’t the only company using AI to watch over checkouts

The tech Walmart is using in over 1,000 of its stores comes from companies like Ireland-based Everseen. Walmart calls its program “Missed Scan Detection,” and it’s there to give a helping hand (or should that be eye?) to the cashiers on shift.

  • The system watches over both self-checkout registers and those manned by Walmart staff
  • It can detect things like missed scans, double-scans, or items left in the shopping cart
  • Any potential issues are flagged to the cashiers, so they can act accordingly
  • According to Everseen, most of the things its system picks up are accidental

US retailers lost an estimated 1.33-percent of their revenue due to shrinkage in 2017. That’s nearly $47 billion. With most of that being lost through preventable errors, AI systems like this can drastically reduce revenue losses.

Of course, having extra eyes recheck shopping carts is nothing new – Costco has been doing this for decades. They’re not really looking for theft though, more to rectify cashier error.

What do you think? Are you ok with AI being used to monitor you while shopping? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r and unabashed geek. Hardware guy here at KnowTechie, if it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't) I probably have one around here somewhere. My hobbies include photography, animation and hoarding Reddit gold.

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