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AI versus shoplifters at Walmart

June 24, 2019.

Walmart store.

Walmart store. Portland, Oregon, USA. © iStock.

Walmart has confirmed it is using image recognition and AI technologies in over 1,000 stores to fight shoplifting, and checkout errors. The surveillance program, named “Missed Scan Detection” by Walmart, uses cameras to identify items that clients “forget” to scan at the self-checkout, as well as items that may be incorrectly scanned by human cashiers. When the system detects a problem, it alerts dedicated staff that can step in. To achieve this, Walmart used a technology developed by Irish company Everseen, among others.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), American retailers lost 1.33% of their revenues in 2017 due to shoplifting, fraud or human error, for an estimated total of 47 billion dollars. For Walmart, whose sales in 2018 were 514.4 billion, the losses could be as high as 6.8 billion dollars (4 billion for Walmart US alone), making the investment in this technology most cost-effective.

Everseen vid.

Mashable, “Walmart's using AI cameras to catch thieves.”