A Japanese company that employs artificial intelligence software in different social settings is employing this technology to spot nervous and fidgeting shoppers – giving a hint if they are likely shoplifters. Of course this technology is controversial and has raised some questions but the company Vaak, helped nab a shoplifter last year in Yokohama, making it instant front page news in Japan.
The founder, Ryo Tanaka, thinks he can save billions of dollars worldwide since the shoplifting cast globally is estimated at $34 billion in last sales – this is a 2o17 figure from Tyco Retail Solutions. In Japan there are thousands of stores that include one in which the owner once said that his store is so open and easy to shop in, that shoplifters have it easy. Of course he backed that comment up after this joke hit the press.
It is safe to assume that some large retailers in Japan have employed some sort of technology already and that this new technology may be used in a wide range of stores. Most major retailers do not give details on how they spot and nab shoplifters, much like casinos in the US, Hong Kong and Europe.
Founded in 2017, Vaak is zestig its new software in a set number of stores in Tokyo with learning in mind. Mr Tanaka is not giving names but he is meeting the largest drug stores and convenience stores in Japan, some of which have hundreds of branches. And it is important to note that despite a low crime rate, there is a serious shoplifting problem in Tokyo and Osaka, the largest Japanese cities.
The future of AI and its applications is one key topic here on Classiarius and the growing pool of Japanese start ups here in Japan will provide us with more content in the future.