• John Ennis

Eye on AI - May 31, 2019


Welcome to Aigora's "Eye on AI" series, where we round up exciting news at the intersection of consumer science and artificial intelligence!



This week we begin with a trio of news articles all related to the use of AI and adjacent technologies to assist with the customer ordering process. First, MasterCard is partnering with Zivelo to offer a chatbot-based ordering system for quick service restaurants to use at their drive-throughs. According to Forbes,


"... the two companies will be working together to enhance the drive-in, ordering experience for quick service restaurants (QSRs) with a first-of-its-kind artificial intelligence-powered voice assistant and personalized dynamic menu."

Next, Google is using text-mining and text-analytics, together with machine learning, to offer dish-level recommendations for Google Maps users in restaurants. According to TechCrunch:


"The dish suggestions will appear in the Overview tab in Google Maps. When you see a dish you like, you can tap on it to see all the related reviews where the dish is discussed by other diners. You can also tap on the menu tab to see dishes by popularity or broken down by dishes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc."

Finally, Ikea is using app-based augmented reality (AR) to help customers determine how well various furniture options will function within their own homes. According to Reuters,


"(The app) will allow users to visualize how their homes could be furnished with IKEA products by inputting room dimensions and choosing from different tastes and life stages. They can then order those products through the app."


The next category of news we have this week concerns the pros and cons of virtual reality (VR). First off, a new product called Feelreal revived the promise of "smell-o-vision" within an immersive VR environment. While this technology remains focused on games at the moment, the possibilities it offers for consumer testing and engagement are obvious - assuming the product works as advertised. Time will tell, I suppose.


Continuing with VR news, Vice reported this week on the benefits and drawbacks of eye-tracking within VR headsets. On the positive side, extremely precise eye-tracking could be valuable within advanced consumer research. On the negative side, however, this same ability could lead to invasive data-collection. Once again, time will tell.



Two last bits of news rounding out the week:

In this last article, we see robots again employed for the 4 D's: Jobs that are dirty, dumb, dull, or dangerous.


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