The hype surrounding AI has reached a fever pitch, but practical uses that are delivering concrete business results are here, and it’s time to get real. Join this VB Live event hosted by Forrester Principal Analyst Brandon Purcell and Kayak Chief Scientist Matthias Keller to learn more about how to identify the AI use cases that can transform your business, and how to get started, stat.
“Farmstead is one of those companies where AI defines our operation,” says Pradeep Elankumaran, CEO and co-founder. “AI helps us model our operation.”
Farmstead, a new digital grocer, wants to solve for a very specific problem — and one that impacts the environment and the world, as well. The company sources high-quality local produce, and fresh fruit and vegetables are not what you’d call shelf-stable, he explains. So the question becomes, what do they need to keep in stock at any point in time in order to satisfy the requirements of their customers for delivery, while also reducing food waste, a global problem, down to close to nothing?
“The goal is to not keep too much in stock so we wind up having waste, but not keep so little in stock that we wind up not having enough for our customers,” he says. “We got to a point where we realized that without an AI system, it was actually very difficult for us to move forward on reducing the food waste at Farmstead, with so many items all with different expiry times.”
Their applied AI stack helps them predict how much to carry of any particular item in each of their locations, he says.
“With an AI system you’re literally looking at the data and riding the waves of what’s happened before, predicting trends based on what’s currently happening,” he explains.
Before they introduced AI, their food waste was about 20 to 22 percent — still better than a traditional grocer’s average food waste percentage, which hovers around 35 to 40 percent, he says. But with AI in the mix, that percentage dropped drastically — down below 10 percent.
What it really comes down to is the data, he says.
“If you have a lot of data as a company, using that data to help with your business model by leveraging AI is a tremendous thing,” he says. “However, even identifying whether you’re a company that has enough data for an AI-powered business model is tough. And once you have that data, implementing an AI-powered business model is still tough. There aren’t a lot of companies both doing it at scale and doing it well.”
The big tech companies are. For other sectors, it hasn’t percolated down, and there are a lot of efforts here in the valley to help bring this technology, or at least this way of thinking and the technology associated with it, to a bigger market. But right now it’s very difficult for companies to even get started. There’s a big data requirement, and if you even have the data, what are you going to do with it? Who’s going to do this for you? What exactly are they going to do?”
While there’s no one-size-fits-all, off-the-shelf solution that can plug-and-play, the AI consulting space is booming, and the number of data scientists looking for a company to call home is growing. Harnessing the expertise of resources both inside and outside your company is the most flexible, powerful approach, Elankumaran says.
“We have a very small team — some of them internal, some of them external — and we pulled in some smart people to work on the problem,” he says. “We also have advisors who are AI-centered. This is important to our company. It’s important that we get it right.”
To learn how your company can get it right, how to identify the AI use cases that can transform your business, and how to get started, stat, don’t miss this VB Live event, hosted by Forrester Principal Analyst Brandon Purcell and Kayak Chief Scientist Matthias Keller.
Don’t miss out!
- What technologies fall under the AI umbrella
- How companies like Kayak use AI to understand customers and personalize experiences
- How to identify the right AI use case for your business
- Common challenges firms face when implementing AI
- Why AI’s time in the sun has finally come, and why it’s here to stay
- Brandon Purcell, Principal Analyst, Forrester
- Matthias Keller, Chief Scientist, Kayak
- Martine van der Lee, Director of Social Media, KLM
- Pradeep Elankumaran, CEO and Co-Founder of Farmstead
- Rachael Brownell, Moderator, VentureBeat