Mechanical Turk at Work: Given the complexity involved in training “AI’s” to identify people, identify products, and associate and disassociate the two, I believe that humans are in the loop. This integration of humans and AI is referred to as collective intelligence, and I believe it’s behind the assuredness of the system…and that is O.K. This would be a smart use of humans to accelerate the deployment of the platform, which allows for more data to be collected. This type of system requires a TON of data to build a corpus that would allow it to make high confidence predictions autonomously. I’m sure that system has learned a lot since launching to just employees; it’s still a baby. MTurk crowd can review video leveling judgement calls, in low confidence situations, and continue to label data to drive increased “understanding” for the system. Again, this would be smart, creating more labeled training data, never hurts. With Chicago being added to Seattle…Mo’ data, Mo’ data! Everyone always gets caught up on the number of cameras, and “…look, there are still employees.” It’s truly about the data, not the current quantity of infrastructure and staff. As more data is collected….less and less of both will be needed; on an asymptote of a curve.
Ready for Americas Next Killer Franchise: I don’t think Amazon is going to stray from what has worked with extending their capabilities as a service. We’ve now seen it with AWS infrastructure service, FBA, Amazon Delivery Service Partner Program, and other marketplace services. However, I believe the business model will be franchise based, helping that entrepreneur own their own business – “Amazon Go Store Partner Program.” That is how I think the “just walk out” technology will become a profit center, and not just a capital cost of doing business for Amazon.
Real-Estate Discovery, Check: Amazon has considered the implementation of physical stores for a very long time. I would bet a majority of the real-estate discovery work was completed as a part of the Amazon Book Store planning process. This pre-work, will allow them to move more quickly with targeting specific locations for prospective franchisees.
- I predict that “Just Walk Out” technology will be in a Whole Foods within 18 months. Instead of aligning with the naysayers who say it can’t be done in a bigger box store, Amazon will do it!