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Little Find

Humans + AI = a winning combination!

The textile industry is frequently criticized for its unsustainable practices and is seldom associated with innovation. But it is the ideal testing ground for AI since there are abundant challenges throughout the value chain. The H&M Group, which has been employing artificial intelligence since 2016, draws some of the early lessons.

The Head of corporate AI, Arti Zeighami, prefers the term “amplified intelligence” to artificial intelligence. He has observed that it is the alliance of AI and humans that creates the most value as a project advances, citing the following example: H&M uses AI to calculate the price of articles that will be included in end-of-season sales. 

  • When the price is set by the algorithm alone, sales rise by a few points. 
  • When the price is recommended by the algorithm and then adjusted by the local sales teams, the results are twice as good as with the algorithm alone! 

The top results, in other words, are produced by a combination of field experience, human intuition and computing power. Zeighami adds that he is more preoccupied by business challenges than technological issues. While he spends only 10% of his time on AI, he devotes 70% to people and processes. 

Don’t forget the human dimension if you want to leverage your AI to the full! 

To go further

Fashion forecasting : Arti Zeighami on implementing AI at H&M group

by Sam Ransbotham and Shervin Khodabandeh (Podcast Me, Myself, and AI, November 10, 2020). 

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Florence Meyer
Published by Florence Meyer
Executive coach, change management expert, and author. Constantly on the lookout for the latest management and leadership trends.