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Last December, Amazon announced its new concept store, Amazon Go. The store is powered by sensors, deep learning artificial intelligence (AI), and computer vision, giving customers the ability to browse through the store, take what they want off shelves, and literally go — no need to queue to pay for the items. The only added step to the shopping experience is swiping the free Amazon Go app from their phones once when they enter the store. Their Amazon account automatically gets charged for their purchases when they leave.
The store concept eliminates labor costs incurred by cashiers and is ideal not only for Amazon, but for customers as well. No lines or checkouts? From a shopper’s point of view, it’s the ideal shopping experience, offering a level of convenience that could be game-changing for the retail industry. However, Amazon Go also raises concerns about potential ramifications on employment and the economy.
“With Amazon, it’s not just about reducing labor costs at all — they’ve come up with something disruptive,” says Martin Ford, author of “Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future,” in an interview at CNBC.