We discussed about AR, VR, and AI for years, but finally started to experience technology explosion in last a few years. Infrastructure, such as internet speed, processing power, and AI technologies are finally there to put everything together. Just take a few examples, Alpha Go beat #1 human Go player in 2017; OpenAI Five crushed top-talented team players, in a very complex game named Dota2 in 2018. More technologies and big headlines are surfacing everyday. However, this is just the very beginning of AI era.
Recently, I attended a meetup hosted in Alibaba Corp. in San Francisco Bay Area. It introduced technologies enabled by Alibaba Cloud, which is similar to AWS and GCP. Alibaba provides one-stop solution that include data cleaning, standardizing, analyzing, classification, tags assignment, behaviors prediction, and recommendations making. I listed below a few examples of technologies enabled by Alibaba Cloud:
- Personalized recommendation
- Image search
- Behavior tracking
- AR guide shopping
- Magic mirror
- Self service
- Smart shelf*
- Facial recognition
Magic mirror is a technology that enables consumers to virtually try on and pick clothes. Consumers can stand in front of a mirror and easily switch clothes by a simple swipe. Interestingly back in 2008, I had an undergraduate capstone presentation covering similar technology. At that time, this was still a Sci-Fi story, but it was already within the reach 10 year later.
Eventually, the next big technology wave is here. The only way to survive the wave is through learning constantly and evolving with the technology. Now the question comes up: at the edge of the wave, are you ready for it?
*Smart Shelf: track inventory picking and dropping history to help improve shopping and customer experience