Retail Robotics & AI Conference
April 26, 2018

9:00 – 9:10 a.m.

Welcome and Introduction:
Don E. Schultz, Director, Retail Analytics Council, and Professor (Emeritus-in-Service), Northwestern University

9:10-10:15 a.m.

Panel – Retailers and their Robots:

Moderator: Jeff Donaldson, CEO, Intriosity, and former SVP, GameStop

  1. Chad Stiernagle, Former Senior Director, Automated Retail, Best Buy
  2. Jonathan Kough, Manager, Store Initiatives, Ahold Delhaize

In this session, retailers that have deployed and tested robots in their stores will discuss their experiences. Leading retail technology innovators will also present their outlook on adoption trends.

10:15-10:30 a.m.


10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Academic Presentations:

Moderator: Jonathan R. Copulsky, Lecturer, Integrated Marketing Communications Department, Northwestern University

  1. Current Research in Robotic Applications: Martial Hebert, Director, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
  2. Applied Deep Learning:Mike Tamir, Head of Data Science at Uber ATG and former Takt Chief Data Science Officer, UC Berkeley
  3. Amazon, Intelligent Agent Assistants, and Driverless Vehicles: Martin Block, Executive Director, Retail Analytics Council, and Professor, Integrated Marketing Communications Department, Northwestern University

In his presentation, Dr. Hebert will discuss technologies developed in the areas of robot design, human interaction, computer vision, and autonomy at the Robotics Institute and their relations to the retail domain.

Applied deep learning has fast become a standard tool for many industry machine learning applications. New advances in neural network techniques have opened the doors to solving problems at scale that were out of reach until recently. Because of these advances, applications such as in image recognition for self-driving cars, medical image classification, text translation, and fake news detection are both tractable and often the industry standard. Mike Tamir, who heads the data science teams at Uber ATG – the self-driving cars division – reveals how two key application areas of deep learning signal the broad importance of this emerging technology.

In his presentation, Dr. Block will present data from the Media Behavior and Influence Study (MBIS), a syndicated online study of American adult consumers conducted annually since 2002 and in China since 2006. Retail applications of smart home assistants also are explored. The characteristics of the device user, including the intersection with the smartphone and online behavior,also will be discussed. Finally, to understand consumer acceptance of robots at retail, Dr. Block will examine the stated attitudes of consumers toward driverless vehicles and discuss the implications.

12:00 -1:00 p.m.


1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Emerging Retail Robotics Applications:

Emerging Retail Robotics Applications: Steven Keith Platt, Research Director, Retail Analytics Council, and Director and Research Fellow, Platt Retail Institute

Steven Keith Platt’s session will focus on a discussion of various potential robotic applications, and an introduction to a new concept store, run entirely by robots.

1:15-2:00 p.m.

Global Retail Perspective – Applications and Trends Panel:

Moderator: Deborah Weinswig, CEO and Founder, Coresight Research

  1. Andra Keay, Managing Director, Silicon Valley Robotics
  2. Jeff Burnstein, President, the Association for Advancing Automation
  3. Mark Mathews, Vice President, Research Development & Industry Analysis, National Retail Federation

In this session, our expert panel will discuss the current state of robotic deployments and emerging trends. Impediments to retail adoption, as well as how consumers respond to shopper-facing automation and technological advancements in retail, will also be discussed.

2:00–3:00 p.m.

Robot and Retail AI Panel Presentation:

Moderator: Brett Bonner, Vice President R&D and OR, Kroger

  1. Pano Anthos, Managing Director, XRC Labs
  2. Rose Haft, CEO, Lumenora
  3. Lori Schafer, Executive Advisor, SAS Institute

In this session, Rose Haft of Lumenora will demonstrate how to reduce costs and waste in retail, improve customer service, increase sales, and keep customers coming back to stores using their proprietary compact AR headset, along with other smart technologies. Lori Schafer, SAS Institute, will discuss Retail Applications and Benefits of AI.

3:00-3:15 p.m.


3:15 – 3:50 p.m.

Building a 360 Degree View of the Customer:

Clive Humby, Chief Data Scientist, Starcount, and Founder, Dunnhumby

In this session, Clive Humby will discuss how analytics are evolving in retail. Data sources, where analytics work and where they fail, and how AI and robotic processes are changing the retail landscape will be explored.

3:50 – 4:50 p.m.

AI in Retail:

Kristian J. Hammond, Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Northwestern University

This session explores the depth and breadth of the technologies of artificial intelligence, discusses how these technologies can be applied in retail, and addresses how retailers can design new artificial intelligence technologies.

4:50 – 5:00 p.m.


Frank Mulhern, Director, Retail Analytics Council, and Associate Dean and Professor, Integrated Marketing Communications Department, Northwestern University.