No more self-serve stealing at supermarkets thanks to new Aussie AI technology

By Cameron Abbott and Allison Wallace

Since the introduction of self-serve checkouts in Australian supermarkets nearly ten years ago, customers have been engaging in the simplest of hacks to outsmart the supermarket technology.  Mum and Dad cyber criminals?  Not so much– mostly it is just by putting through more expensive items as much cheaper ones (think a kilo of lemons as a kilo of potatoes).

But thanks to an Aussie start-up, new AI technology will put an end to customer’s criminal careers.

Tiliter Technology has developed an automated product recognition system which automatically identifies products, removes the needs for barcodes and the entering of additional information at the checkout, so that customers can’t cheat the system.

Chris Sampson, the co-founder, told News Corp that the “smart checkouts” use a camera to identify the product, and is “based on machine learning and artificial intelligence which has been taught to recognise different types of fruit and other products.”

The new technology is so smart, that it can tell the difference between different items from the same family – such as a red delicious apple and a royal gala.

He says the biggest benefit for supermarkets of this AI is that it “remov[es] the significant loss seen from people entering the wrong information” at the self-serve checkouts.

Recent publicity of using technology to track movements in stores or entertainment venues has been as controversial.  This use of cameras and AI is a far less controversial and indeed a relief to think that you don’t have to remember or work out which sort of avocado you are buying for your smashed avocado breakfast!

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