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Webinar Announcement: Improving the Odds of Product Launch Success with Image Recognition

Consumer needs and wants are moving fast and the only way FMCG companies can stay relevant is by innovating and launching new segments, and by […] Read More

The post Webinar Announcement: Improving the Odds of Product Launch Success with Image Recognition appeared first on ParallelDots.




product launch

Consumer needs and wants are moving fast and the only way FMCG companies can stay relevant is by innovating and launching new segments, and by refreshing existing brands. Anyone who has been a part of new product development in FMCG companies understands how extensive this exercise spanning over many months and involving multiple organization functions.

At the same time, data mirrors a bitter truth – 75% of all new product launches fail within a year. This makes innovations extremely expensive as three-quarters of your investment doesn’t give you the return. But the importance of NPD makes this expense a necessary evil.

Without proper planning and groundwork, the launch could go completely haywire resulting in fewer sales, confused customers, and negative ROI. On the contrary, a well-planned launch would easily bring more sales, happier customers, and better turnaround. In the FMCG/CPG industry, there are many things to keep under consideration when evaluating market opportunity prior to product development and a successful launch.

However, it is almost every time that there is a huge gap between the expectations and execution. That the gap exists is not as much of a problem as it is to understand how to quickly address the gap. This is where the importance of retail execution comes to the fore. There is little doubt that the performance of a product relates directly to how it is placed on the shelf. This usually means that the actual scenario matches the decided compliance standards: is the placement at the eye-level on shelf, are all the facings clearly visible, whether the product is available in the right numbers, and is the promotional compliance at-par?

But as mentioned earlier, product launch is not a one-day event; it is rather a long process that needs to be actively pursued to ensure success.

Planning the perfect store execution is one thing but maintaining it is another. Brands spend billions of dollars on manual auditing methods to ensure that their in-store execution complies with the set planogram standards. But manual audits are expensive, time-consuming, and inaccurate. However, with the rise of reliable and proven image recognition solutions like ShelfWatch, the redundancies in manual auditing methods can be easily overcome.

Image Recognition for Fixing Execution Gaps for New Product Launches

Using artificial intelligence to improve retail execution is not a new concept. Auditing shelf management using Image Recognition digitizes store checks. It plays an essential role in understanding the shelf conditions and how they affect the sales of their core SKUs. It analyzes the visual display to ensure the store is in compliance with the planogram for your consumer goods. With smart solutions and tools, data can be updated in real-time so that proper corrective measures can be taken rapidly as required.

Although more and more brands are adopting the technology, there still remains a gap in exposure and understanding in terms of how effective and efficient this technology is. A large number of brands globally need to recognize how this technology can enable them to gain insight into every aspect of execution from merchandising to promotional compliance. Thereby, helping them strategically break-down and eliminate failure possibilities.

And this is exactly what we’ll be discussing in our webinar- Improving the Odds of Product Launch Success with Image Recognition on May 12, 2020, at 12.30 PM GMT. Register now to understand how technologies like ShelfWatch by ParallelDots are using image recognition to help CPG companies win at the shelf with New Launches.

Here’s what’s going to happen:

It’ll be an hour-long event where our guest speakers share their wealth of knowledge and experience on how to launch products successfully specifically by using image recognition. Diversity in their work backgrounds and global experience will for sure bring varied perspectives onto the table, making your time investment worthwhile.

Meet the Speakers:

Product Launch

Robert W. de Bruin
Ex-President and General Manager, Reckitt Benckiser Health

Robert is a successful international leader with more than 25 years of experience in the consumer goods and consumer health industry, with over 20 years in the Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Europe. Robert started in marketing and has held senior category positions with Unilever and then moved to general management with Mead Johnson and Reckitt Benckiser.

Product Launch

May Kwah
Ex-Vice President Marketing, Unilever

May has more than 20 years of senior marketing and leadership experience in global multinationals throughout Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Her marketing career has been in both fast-moving consumer goods and pharmaceutical industries and in the developed and emerging markets. As the Vice President of Marketing in Unilever, May had a brilliant track record in leading the strategic agenda, driving innovations, and executing digital transformation. She is now a senior consultant with a consultancy firm focusing on Leadership and Organizational Development. She has lived and worked extensively in Indonesia, Thailand, China, and Singapore.

Product Launch

Neerja Sewak
Ex-Chief Operating Officer, Suntory

Neerja Sewak has thirty years of blue-chip corporate experience in eight countries across four continents. As COO of Suntory Beverage and Food, Health Supplements Division in Asia, she transformed a $1 billion traditional health supplements business in three years. As head of Global Strategy and Innovation for Novartis Consumer Health in Switzerland, she led the growth of the Voltaren brand to join a $1 billion club growing at 30% year on year. In her Cadbury Schweppes global (UK), regional (Southeast Asia), and local (Australia) strategy roles, she steered global new product launches and significant operational synergies.

Key Takeaways from the Webinar:

  • Understand why supply chain data or POS data alone cannot work.
  • Discover how Image Recognition helps you pinpoint execution gaps for new product launches faster than any method out there – especially manual audits.
  • Understand how quickly new products appear on shelves.
  • Determine how to save $$$ by plugging all POS marketing leakages on-site.

Who Should Attend:

Decision-makers and professionals from FMCG/CPG and Retail Industry responsible for new product development, product launch, and retail execution, in general.


Latest posts by Reashikaa Verma (see all)



7 Awe Inspiring AI Techs That Transformed The Digital World




For many people worldwide, artificial intelligence is slowly making its way into their lives without fussing. From our cars, homes, mobile phones, and our workplace, Artificial Intelligence is everywhere.

Apart from our personal lives, Artificial Intelligence has also made its way into various industries such as automotive, e-commerce, healthcare, and entertainment.

To better understand artificial intelligence’s impact on the digital world, we first need to know what it is. To sum up,

“Artificial intelligence reduces human intervention with the help of algorithms and tools that provide recommendations, predictions, and decisions through real-time data.” 

Now that we know what artificial intelligence is, we can move forward and find out how it transforms the digital world. The use of artificial intelligence is every present and visible in our daily lives.

With the help of a machine and deep learning, artificial intelligence has found its way in computer vision systems, image processing, and voice recognition applications, transforming them in a way never seen before. If you want to know how Artificial Intelligence affects the digital world, this article will help you. Listed below are some of the applications of artificial intelligence in today’s digital world:

Computer Vision Systems

Computer vision analyzes data by using different images that show various objects of interest. It uses deep learning and image processing to recognize patterns and then provides predictions autonomously.

From simple everyday applications such as recognizing human faces to complicated ones such as detecting obstacles when driving autonomous vehicles, computer vision helps AI-enabled technologies and devices to perform their tasks more effectively.

An example of how AI affects computer vision systems is through its use in machine vision systems. A sub-field of computer vision systems, machine vision systems finds their use in automotive applications, such as detecting stop signs, detecting obstacles, etc. Machine vision technology reduces distractions and enables the driver to stay alert while driving.

Creating and Generating Online Content

Who wouldn’t want a machine that writes online content by itself? Although AI cannot write about their opinion for a political blog or its views about new emerging technologies, it certainly can create content for your website that can help attract an audience from every part of the world. It can also help you save money, resources, and a lot of time. You only need to feed it data that it can understand and learn, and it will take care of the rest.

Wordsmith and quill are examples of such programs, which companies such as Forbes and Associated Press use to create new and fresh content for them, leading to numerous visits on their websites. With the use of templates and keywords, these programs generate content readers feel that humans wrote it.

Curating Online Content

AI-based programs not only allow you to create content, but they also help you curate it. It enables visitors to interact with web pages in a better way, only showing them the content they want to see. It helps in providing visitors with more personalized user experience. For example, if you add a product to your shopping cart on Amazon, you will see suggestions relevant to your choice.

“Another example is Netflix. If you watch a movie or a drama serial on it, with the help of AI, Netflix provides you with relevant movie and drama suggestions that piques your interest.” 

From a marketing perspective, imagine showing visitors the content they wish to see. With the help of deep learning and machine learning, you will surely increase your daily clicks.

Email Marketing

Emphasizing user behavior and preferences, companies use AI-based marketing campaigns to make it easier to connect with potential clients. With the help of machine learning, companies can analyze trillions of megabytes of data to find out the time of day to engage with potential clients, what type of content to show them, the email titles and subjects that generate the most clicks, and its frequency.

Wouldn’t you want to know all these so you can save time, money, and effort? Some of the examples of such AI-based email marketing include Persado, Boomtrain, and Phrasee. It will transform how you perceive email marketing and allow you to generate tons of clicks, increasing your online presence.

Digital Advertising

Gone are the days of posting advertisements in the newspaper or the local radio channel. Artificial intelligence has made it easy for companies to find an audience that will be more prone to finding an interest in an advert. A sub-field of digital marketing, digital advertising sees the most benefits when adopting Artificial Intelligence.

“For example, Google Ads and Facebook Ads use Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to find people that will most likely have an interest in your Digital Adverts.” 

With the help of AI, both these platforms analyze user information such as demographics and interests to detect users that suit a company’s advertisements.

Website Design

If you think that a great website cannot exist without the help of a coder or a programmer, then we have news for you. Nowadays, various AI-aided website design programs exist that can easily design a website with the help of images, call to actions, and text provided by the user.

And all that without any need of a programmer or a website designer.It allows companies to save money and makes their website look like someone with a college degree designed it.

Artificial Intelligence Chatbots

Nowadays, brands usually communicate with their potential clients through Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, and other online communication platforms. As everybody already uses these platforms, it provides companies with a quick way to send the word out about their brand. Such a medium of communication leads to a requirement for faster responses. That is only possible through AI aided chatbots.

Chatbots are also available 24/7, which is not possible for a human being. For example, a big brand like Sephora uses chatbots to provide visitors with recommendations and make-up advice, depending on their interests, and without human intervention.

Final words
As you can see, artificial intelligence in the digital world provides numerous benefits, whether in marketing, advertising, or providing a great user experience to a customer. Also, to clarify, Artificial Intelligence is not here to replace human beings, but it helps them perform their task more effectively and efficiently.

However, for something like this to happen, they must give Artificial Intelligence a chance. Otherwise, they risk facing the inevitable.

Also Read Artificial Intelligence Myths and Facts


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AI and Machine Learning Technologies Are On the Rise Globally, with Governments Launching Initiatives to Support Adoption: Report




Kate MacDonald, New Zealand Government Fellow at the World Economic Forum, and Lofred Madzou, Project Lead, AI and Machine Learning at the World Economic Forum have published a report that explains how AI can benefit everyone.

According to MacDonald and Madzou, artificial intelligence can improve the daily lives of just about everyone, however, we still need to address issues such as accuracy of AI applications, the degree of human control, transparency, bias and various privacy issues. The use of AI also needs to be “carefully and ethically managed,” MacDonald and Madzou recommend.

As mentioned in a blog post by MacDonald and Madzou:

“One way to [ensure ethical practice in AI] is to set up a national ‘Centre for Excellence’ to champion the ethical use of AI and help roll out training and awareness raising. A number of countries already have centres of excellence – those which don’t, should.”

The blog further notes:

“AI can be used to enhance the accuracy and efficiency of decision-making and to improve lives through new apps and services. It can be used to solve some of the thorny policy problems of climate change, infrastructure and healthcare. It is no surprise that governments are therefore looking at ways to build AI expertise and understanding, both within the public sector but also within the wider community.”

As noted by MacDonald and Madzou, the UK has established many “Office for AI” centers, which aim to support the responsible adoption of AI technologies for the benefit of everyone. These UK based centers ensure that AI is safe through proper governance, strong ethical foundations and “understanding of key issues such as the future of work.”

The work environment is changing rapidly, especially since the COVID-19 outbreak. Many people are now working remotely and Fintech companies have managed to raise a lot of capital to launch special services for professionals who may reside in a different jurisdiction than their employer. This can make it challenging for HR departments to take care of taxes, compliance, and other routine work procedures. That’s why companies have developed remote working solutions to support companies during these challenging times.

Many firms might now require advanced cybersecurity solutions that also depend on various AI and machine learning algorithms.

The blog post notes:

“AI Singapore is bringing together all Singapore-based research institutions and the AI ecosystem start-ups and companies to ‘catalyze, synergize and boost’ Singapore’s capability to power its digital economy. Its objective is to use AI to address major challenges currently affecting society and industry.”

As covered recently, AI and machine learning (ML) algorithms are increasingly being used to identify fraudulent transactions.

As reported in August 2020, the Hong Kong Institute for Monetary and Financial Research (HKIMR), the research segment of the Hong Kong Academy of Finance (AoF), had published a report on AI and banking. Entitled “Artificial Intelligence in Banking: The Changing Landscape in Compliance and Supervision,” the report seeks to provide insights on the long-term development strategy and direction of Hong Kong’s financial industry.

In Hong Kong, the use of AI in the banking industry is said to be expanding including “front-line businesses, risk management, and back-office operations.” The tech is poised to tackle tasks like credit assessments and fraud detection. As well, banks are using AI to better serve their customers.

Policymakers are also exploring the use of AI in improving compliance (Regtech) and supervisory operations (Suptech), something that is anticipated to be mutually beneficial to banks and regulators as it can lower the burden on the financial institution while streamlining the regulator process.

The blog by MacDonald and Madzou also mentions that India has established a Centre of Excellence in AI to enhance the delivery of AI government e-services. The blog noted that the Centre will serve as “a platform for innovation and act as a gateway to test and develop solutions and build capacity across government departments.”

The blog post added that Canada is notably the world’s first country to introduce a National AI Strategy, and to also establish various centers of excellence in AI research and innovation at local universities. The blog further states that “this investment in academics and researchers has built on Canada’s reputation as a leading AI research hub.”

MacDonald and Madzou also mentioned that Malta has launched the Malta Digital Innovation Authority, which serves as a regulatory body that handles governmental policies that focus on positioning Malta as a centre of excellence and innovation in digital technologies. The island country’s Innovation Authority is responsible for establishing and enforcing relevant standards while taking appropriate measures to ensure consumer protection.


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Is GPT-3 the “Adam” of Natural Language?




OpenAI has long asserted that immense computational horsepower in conjunction with reinforcement learning is a necessary step on the road to AGI, or AI that can learn any task a human can [14].

The fathers of AI 2.0, such as Yoshua Bengio and Yann LeCun, argue that AGI is not possible to create from current AI technology. They think we need self-supervised learning (actually GPT-2 and GPT-3 are self-supervised) and advanced neurobiology-based advancements [15].

However, the fathers of AI 1.0, the grandfather’s of AI, such as Marvin Minsky and Andrew McCarthy, argued that an abundance of knowledge (data) and a “society” of common-sense reasoning specialists was the road to AGI [16].

GPT-3 is the existence proof that scaling up the amount of text (data), scaling up the parameters (model size), and scaling up the training computes results in better accuracy (scary performance) on a specialist for few-shot NLP tasks.

Do the model’s architecture, size of the model, and the amount of training computes realize a common-sense reasoning specialist? Do data and common sense reasoning get us to AGI?

Speculation About a Possible Future of Artificial Intelligence

So like, the biggest mistake that I see artificial intelligence researchers making is assuming that they’re intelligent. Yeah they’re not, compared to AI. — Elon Musk [12].

Sixty to sixty-five years ago, one of the first computers filled a room. Sixty years later, a computer core, about the size of my head, has scaled up about 1 billion times (maybe more) the first computer.

Suppose the first viable quantum computer fills an entire room. Will it be 60 years before a quantum computer core, the size of my head, scaled up about 1 billion times the first quantum computer?


Imagine a quantum computer, with an AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) model of a scale of 1 billion times the parameters of GPT-3 or about 3 million times the parameters of the human brain.

“I’ve predicted that in 2029, we will pass the Turing test,” stated Ray Kurzweil [11].

Note: GPT-3 is real close to GPT-3 passing the Turing test [13].

GPT-3 is quite impressive in some areas, and still clearly subhuman in others. — Kevin Lackey, Just, 2020.

Do you think we will have a Hawking-Musk nightmare or a Havens-Kurzweil dream [11,12]?

We may have both, or we may have neither.

I put money on our tool-making. I doubt we will change, or should we change this behavior.

I feel that Elon Musk, with the NuralLink project, is making a bet on our tool-making about the future potential of AI [17].


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