Walmart uses AI at checkout counters
Priya Wadhwa
10X Technology

Walmart uses AI at checkout counters

The move is to prevent theft at checkout counters, but raises privacy concerns.

Privacy is to be the number one concern of people these days; and the use of technology and AI is only worsening the situation. There is lack of trust that is being fostered in the minds of people, which will affect their reputation and ultimately sales.

Walmart’s early use of AI might seem like a step in the right direction. However the darker reason might upset many consumers. Walmart has confirmed that its AI powered cameras are used to detect theft and losses at checkout counters, now active in over 1,000 stores.

While the intentions behind it seem fair play, because it’s a matter of business to prevent losses, whether intentional or unintentional; it does raise questions about what else that’s being scanned and how the information is being used.

We are interested in a bigger question: Will tech related privacy concerns be the doom of brands in the coming years?
The loss of goods to accidents and theft has reduced in stores where the computer vision is being used.
LeMia Jenkins, Walmart spokeswoman

The computers at checkout counters use an innocently names “Missed Scan Detection” program that detects when an item moves past a scanner without an actual scan, notifying attendants of the mistake or possible theft.

While most of the incidents are unintentional by forgetful shoppers or fatigued cashiers, Walmart wants to stop purposeful theft at checkout.