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Walmart Unveils AI and Technology Innovations at CES 2024

Walmart showcased its adoption of new technologies, including augmented reality (AR), drones, generative AI, and other artificial intelligence tools, during a keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The retail giant introduced several new products, including two AI-powered tools for product search and replenishment, a beta AR social commerce platform called "Shop with Friends," and a generative AI search feature that allows customers to search by use cases rather than product names. Walmart is also testing AI for replenishing frequently ordered items, starting with the Walmart InHome Replenishment program. Additionally, the company revealed an AR shopping tool, "Shop with Friends," that enables customers to share virtual outfits and receive feedback from friends.

The generative AI search feature is designed to enhance customer search results based on use cases, offering a more personalized and intuitive search experience. Walmart is leveraging AI to create automated online shopping carts for frequently ordered items, initially testing the feature with Walmart InHome Replenishment. The replenishment feature, available through the InHome program, delivers regularly ordered items directly to the customer's fridge using smart lock-powered InHome delivery.

Walmart's AR shopping tool, "Shop with Friends," combines AI-powered virtual try-on technology with social features, allowing customers to share virtual outfits and receive feedback. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon referred to these innovations as "adaptive retail," a concept that focuses on personalized and flexible retail experiences. The company is exploring AI applications in various areas, including Sam's Club, where AI and computer vision technology are used to streamline the exit process by verifying receipts without manual checks. Walmart's generative AI tool for store associates, My Assistant, is also expanding to 11 countries outside the U.S.

During the keynote, McMillon emphasized Walmart's commitment to using technology to serve people and highlighted the company's investment in helping associates transition to new roles as AI adoption progresses. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella joined McMillon onstage, discussing the breakthroughs enabled by generative AI and emphasizing the importance of being mindful of both opportunities and unintended consequences. Walmart is also expanding its drone delivery service in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metro area, covering 75% of the metroplex area and reaching 1.8 million households. The drone deliveries, powered by Wing and Zipline, offer rapid delivery within 30 minutes and have completed over 20,000 deliveries during a two-year trial.


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