To slash waste, Ikea looks to artificial intelligence

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One of every 10 Ikea items gets returned—and 15% of that goes to waste. Enter AI. Ikea’s furniture—omnipresent, affordable, and user-friendly—is so popular it can be found in apartments, for sale on Craigslist, or curbside, following years of loving use. The Swedish mega-retailer sells approximately $44.6 billion worth of its 12,000 products a year, and roughly one of every 10 of those items is returned–15% of which become waste. Given this high turnover rate, Ikea has recently announced a new approach to handling returned merchandise without relegating it to the trash bin: artificial intelligence. Read Full Story

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The 10 most innovative artificial intelligence companies of 2020

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Graphcore, Nvidia, and eight other companies pushing the art of AI forward. Artificial intelligence has reached the inflection point where it’s less of a trend than a core ingredient across virtually every aspect of computing. These companies are applying the technology to everything from treating strokes to detecting water leaks to understanding fast-food orders. And some of them are designing the AI-ready chips that will unleash even more algorithmic innovations in the years to come. Read Full Story

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What leading consultants say about the usage of AI in marketing?

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30-second summary: In Deloitte’s 2019 CMO Survey Report, 56% of participants anticipated using AI for content personalization. 33% of respondents foresee applying AI for improving marketing ROI by optimizing marketing content and timing. Mckinsey’s survey found that 44% of companies reduced operational costs and increased business revenue by using AI in marketing. The Bain and Company found that marketing insights gathered through new machine-learning capabilities helped gain 10x in marketing performance. The company also saw a 25% increase in additional revenue through cross-selling. An EY study of CEOs and business leaders reveals that 62% of respondents believe artificial intelligence will have a significant impact on creating efficiencies at their company. In a survey conducted by BCG, 90% of respondents agreed that artificial intelligence represents a business opportunity for their company. However, 70% of companies report minimal or no impact from AI so far. Marketers have started using artificial intelligence to …

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How AI fits into the martech landscape

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30-second summary: Today, artificial intelligence, sensors, and digital platforms—and an explosion of data—have already increased the opportunity for learning more effectively; but competing on the rate of learning will become a necessity in the 2020s. The Lean AI Autonomy Scale serves as a framework for assessing how the different capabilities of martech vendors stack up with AI in the industry. All major ad platforms and exchanges are powered today by a dizzying array of complex calculations with the goal of delivering your message to the right audience at the right time — and encouraging people to take an action, buy a product, or a host of other outcomes a marketer might be looking for. Today, we’re at a place where buy-side solutions are emerging that operate a layer above the platforms themselves, working to orchestrate your spend, targeting and even creatives across channels. A range of emerging vendors are out …

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At last, you can become a shareholder in a Birkin bag or a Lamborghini

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Rally enables regular investors to buy and sell shares in high-end collectibles. Crafted from individually selected Nile crocodile scales in cream and gray, Hermès’s Himalaya Birkin is one of the world’s rarest handbags, fetching more than $100,000 at auction. Rally cofounder and CEO Chris Bruno wants you to own one—in part. Rally, which launched in 2017, acquires high-end collectibles—Birkins, Porsche convertibles, Rolex watches, even first-edition Harry Potter novels—and allows people to buy and sell shares in them via an app, as if the items were public stocks. Investors—including Rally, which invests up to 10% in each collectible—can make money by selling their shares as an item gains in value, or if the treasure is eventually sold for a profit. (Rally registers each item as a security.) The app’s average investor—there are currently 10,000 total—is 28 years old and owns shares in four different Rally-managed assets. The company has held offerings …

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Facebook and NYU are using AI to dramatically speed up MRI imaging

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Facebook’s AI researchers gave themself an especially demanding challenge: Use algorithms to fill in the details of an MRI scan. The results are promising. Researchers have long looked for ways to speed up magnetic resonance imagining (MRI). Two years ago, Facebook’s Artificial Intelligence Research group (FAIR) began collaborating with researchers at New York University’s Medical School on artificial intelligence that held the promise of reducing the time it takes to get an MRI from an hour to as few as 15 minutes. The group is now releasing the results of its first study, which shows that the quality and usefulness of these AI-fueled MRI scans are not detectably different from those of traditional MRI. Called FastMRI, the technology stands to make MRI more accessible and affordable if adopted broadly. Read Full Story

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These 3D-printable add-ons can make home goods more accessible

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The collaboration between McCann and Ikea enhances home furnishings for the disabled. About 15% of the global population has some form of disability. Eldar Yusupov is a Tel Aviv, Israel–based copywriter with cerebral palsy, and in 2017 he happened to mention to his bosses at McCann that the low height of the office couch made it very difficult for him to get up. He liked the Ikea couch, and if it were just a few inches taller, he told them, he would probably even buy one for his own apartment, where most of the furniture is specifically made for a disabled person—and much of it is expensive and unappealing. That conversation sparked more discussion, and eventually, over the next two years, led to ThisAbles, a collaboration between McCann, Ikea, and Israeli disability rights groups to make the Scandinavian company’s iconic home furnishings—couches, dressers, cabinets, lamps, and even shower curtains—more accessible …

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See what Virgil Abloh thinks will be the future of sustainable fashion

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Danielle Elsener is the winner of Virgil Abloh and Evian’s $50,000 sustainability grant. Making clothes is notoriously wasteful. Fabric comes in large bolts which are then cut into pieces to be sewn into a garment, but the process typically wastes about 15% of material. When you consider that 100 billion articles of clothes are made every year, the immensity of the waste is staggering. Read Full Story

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Top 10 marketing-related AI thought leaders to follow

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30-second summary: AI can help marketers deliver better overall customer experiences across all digital channels. The key to success is in using it logically, ethically and in key areas where it can assist, save time and resource and help scale campaigns and performance. To gain a better understanding of the benefits to marketing it is best to build your knowledge from a wide range of perspectives to identify the best use cases. We look at 10 influencers worth following to get a good handle on how AI can and should effect the marketing sector. Adoption of Artificial intelligence (AI) is growing worldwide, with a recent IDC report identifying the ability to deliver a better customer experience, greater employee efficiency and accelerated innovation as the leading drivers for adoption. AI now powers marketing processes across the customer journey, from insights, search optimization and content marketing to personalization conversion optimization, predictive analytics, …

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13 influential marketing technology leaders

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30-second summary: Following a survey and some editorial research, we have highlighted 13 people we think are either respected industry guardians, or are making some noteworthy contributions to the marketing technology space. Scott Brinker, Tamara McCleary, Ann Lewnes, Des Cahill, Stephanie Buscemi, Tony Ralph and David Encizo, amongst those named in the list. Katrina Lake, Werner Vogels, Max Wessel, Jay Richman, Melanie Deziel and Erin Rowles also honored in the list. With February widely regarded as awards season in the realm of pop culture, we thought we’d get on the act as well and recognize some of the leading personalities in the marketing technology sector. We asked you, our valued readers, to send us your picks and combined that with hours of relentless editorial research, to narrow down our list to 13 deserving people. So without further ado here are our list of 13 (in no particular order) who we …

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Microsoft AI is getting into quilting

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Artificial intelligence is changing the design production process, one stitch at a time. You’d probably associate antique quilts with the back of your grandmother’s sofa before artificial intelligence. But opposites do attract on occasion, as exemplified by the partnership of luxury menswear brand Bode and Microsoft. Read Full Story

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