The growing demand for convenience in the grocery store industry has fostered the Artificial Intelligence technologies development in order to advance the shopping experience for customers. In the same line, Giant Food Stores, an American supermarket chain, that announced its robotic assistant, named Marty, will be put in place into 172 of its stores across four states Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The company’s announcement came as part of a plan by Giant’s Dutch parent company, Ahold Delhaize USA, to launch about 500 robots into its stores that include Giant, Martin’s and Stop & Shop, as news reports noted. Other retailers including Target, Amazon, and Walmart have either been experimenting or are currently utilizing AI to advance their customer experience. President of Giant Food Stores, Nicholas Bertram stated that it has been a very exciting journey when bringing robotics and AI to the sales floor from a research lab. The company identifies an opportunity to have a robot that could provide assistance in the developing company’s associates. Marty, powered by a rechargeable lithium battery, moves around the store autonomously utilizing image capturing technology to transmit useful data back to store associates and customers. As noted by Giant Food Stores’ representative, Marty doesn’t replace our associates, instead, it enables members of our team to spend more time engaging with and assisting customers. According to a January 2017 report from the McKinsey Global Institute, nearly 50 percent of current work activities are technically automatable by embracing currently demonstrated technologies.
The report further revealed that the various jobs that could be generated by 2030, and compared to the jobs that could be lost from automation. In addition, the MGI report noted that the impact of automation varies based on a country’s income level, wage rates, demographics, and industry structure. Typically, those occupations requiring only secondary education, or less, will see a net decline from automation, while those occupations requiring college degrees and higher will grow, according to the MGI report.