The future of retail shopping could be arriving sooner than we expected.

I an effort to keep up with the ever changing competition, NBC is reporting that Walmart will open its Intelligent Retail Lab inside one of their grocery stores in Levittown. What does this mean? Basically lots and lots of cameras, sensors, and other Artificial Intelligence. This could make the long Island Walmart one of the country's first "smart stores".

Why? Walmart has been looking for ways to compete against Amazon's customer experience. According to Walmart, the experiment will make potential future stores more efficient, help control costs, and increase customer satisfaction. 

The increased surveillance could help spot a puddle of water on the floor that needs cleaning, or even tell workers to restock shelves that are running low. Of course, the question of privacy is a concern, Walmart isn't the first company to experiment with such technology, however other AI programs used by other companies can go so far as guessing the age, gender, or even mood of a customer.  

Another potential ethical issue could be that the monitoring system will be used as am excuse to replace jobs. Could this ever work here in the Hudson Valley? Should it?

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