Helping retailers reduce theft or develop more accurate demand-planning for manufacturers, ensuring better matches for clinical trials for cancer patients at Highlands Oncology, and keeping children safe from predators, are ways artificial intelligence (AI) is used by many businesses and governments.
“AI speed and efficiency offer opportunities unlike anything we have ever seen,” according to presenters from Bordeaux, France-based Nfinite during their presentation at the NWA Technology Summit in Rogers on Monday (Oct. 30). Nfinite is one of about 100 sponsors with speakers taking part in this year’s technology summit marking the 10th year for the event that has grown from a one-day Bentonville Chamber of Commerce event in 2013 to a three-day event summit at the Rogers Convention Center.
Cox Communications, Dell Technologies and Epic iO announced a partnership at Monday’s event aimed at helping retailers combat shrink or lost profits stemming from merchandise that is stolen or never received. The partners explained Cox Private Networks combines with Epic’s AI analytics platform and Dell’s computing platform to detect employment mistakes, and point-of-sales system errors aimed at preventing losses before they happen.
”The key to reducing shrinkage is the ability to proactively address product loss and immediately respond to profit loss incidents in real-time,” said Josh Sommer, vice president of new growth and development at Cox Communications. “We can bring the cloud right to the storefront and allow retailers to help minimize loss prevention while ensuring lasting customer loyalty.”
David Trigg, vice president of strategic planning at Dell Technologies, said that edge technologies like the one Cox is providing can also help retailers analyze data where it’s created in the store, to make faster decisions and deliver positive experiences for shoppers and employees.
When retailers have cloud access at the storefront there are multiple ways they can reduce inventory from leaving the store without purchase. When used in combination with new generation RFID tags retailers like Lululemon the retailer knows where every item they have is at all times. When it goes into the dressing room or backroom, it goes through a scanner at the point of sale or if it leaves the store without purchase, according to Mike Graen, of Collaboration LLC, who was also a speaker at the event.
There were multiple sessions during Monday’s event on the role of AI including how local medical providers are using it to eliminate repeatable tasks in the area of financials and information security, according to Bill Walker, director of technology at Washington Regional Health. He said the provider is also exploring AI and computer vision in imaging and radiology to prioritize the urgency based on the size or other characteristics of tumors or polyps.
Dr. Scott Cooper, an orthopedic surgeon at Mercy, said there is an AI-driven platform for gastroenterology called GIG that uses AI scanning which claims to pick up more than 15% more polyps than human eyes. He said clinical doctors are piloting in partnership with Microsoft a conversation in the patient room that is turned into a clinical note using AI that will change the workflow of the physician. This can save 7 minutes per clinic visit and with an average of 20 visits per day that time savings would be substantial for doctors already in short supply, Dr. Cooper said.
“We are using chatbots to help with navigation of benefits and things like that,” he said.
Highlands Oncology said Generative AI is being used to pair cancer patients with the best trials. Highlands now has 120 active clinical trials with 40 professionals managing that program screening applicants for trials looking for the best fit, said Highlands CEO Jeff Honeycutt. He said applying AI to the clinical trial management program should allow the team to do their jobs more quickly and accurately and eventually expand the number of cutting-edge trials Highlands can offer for the people in this region.
“We are looking at AI to provide better care for our patients and to benefit our doctors whose jobs have gotten harder. AI can be used to harvest relative data such as labs, pharma and other information for a patient and tee it up for the doctor just before he sees the patient,” Honeycutt said.
The proliferation of technology in the hands of kids and adolescents is seen as a double-edged sword, according to a panel moderated by Natalie Tibbs, executive director of Children’s & Family Advocacy Center in Northwest Arkansas.
Bentonville Police Department Detective Adam Corbett said the internet is always on and that is wonderful and scary because technology evolves and new threats are always emerging. He spends hours each month downloading games for evaluation against the exploitation of kids. He said smaller markets like Northwest Arkansas have access to federal AI tools that help with scanning videos and images received for nudity or child involvement. Downloading mobile games and social media are the ways children can be targeted by bad actors. He said parents need to set parental controls and be aware of what their kids are viewing online.
Anne Martfeld, assistant principal at Pea Ridge School District, said there are tools for schools to monitor what sites students are visiting. She said 80% of the discipline problems for students grades 6 to 12 occur over posts on social media or text or chat exchanges between students. Martfield said being able to monitor a student’s site visits and posts also signals depression and other situations for intervention before they escalate.