Ahold Delhaize To Develop AI For Retail In Dutch Partnership
Dutch-Belgian supermarket operator Ahold Delhaize has announced its investment in developing AI for retail in partnership with the Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence (ICAI) in Amsterdam.
Ahold Delhaize will sponsor its retailer Albert Heijn and and e-commerce platform bol.com to explore the possibilities that AI offers for retail at the ‘AI For Retail Lab’ or ‘AIRLab’ at the Amsterdam Science Park.
The ICAI is focused on the joint development of AI technology through collaborative partnerships with the business sector, government and knowledge institutes. It's located at Amsterdam Science Park and was established by the University of Amsterdam and the VU University Amsterdam, along with other shareholders.
The organisation is built around the concept of industry labs, consisting of multi-year partnerships between academic and industrial participants, aimed at the development of technology and the talent pool. Teaching, research and collaboration are all important elements of the centre.
At the AIRLab, seven PhDs will conduct research into 'socially responsible' algorithms that can be employed to make suggestions to consumers, and into AI technology aimed at transparently managing goods supply chains.
"Ahold Delhaize, Albert Heijn and bol.com look forward to working with ICAI," said Frans Muller, deputy CEO of Ahold Delhaize. "Artificial ontelligence offers countless possibilities for the retail industry, the consumer and society at large. With this partnership, we want to further develop our ongoing initiatives and learn how AI can be used to better serve the interests of our customers."
"Also, we will investigate ways to make the assortment of bol.com even more accessible to customers," he continued. "These insights and knowledge can be applied to our brands in the United States and Europe."
For example, Ahold Delhaize will look at how to strengthen Albert Heijn’s supply chain, improving the availability of goods by taking into account local weather conditions.
Maarten de Rijke, director of ICAI and professor of information retrieval at the University of Amsterdam, commented on the partnership, "AI will influence every sector of society. The partnership with Ahold Delhaize is of major importance because with it we are making a serious investment in the development of AI talent and AI technology outside of the traditional technology sector."
He said that the Netherlands is well-equipped to fill a "prominent position" in the international AI forum. But it's paramount for the country to continue to invest in these kinds of programmes, especially in developing the talent pool, de Rijke said.
“The Netherlands must continue to strive for innovation through AI, especially by attracting, managing and retaining top talent and by linking this talent with the business sector. This is the mission of ICAI,” de Rijke explained.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Kevin Duggan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.