Amazon is boosting it’s investment in artificial intelligence, with a big focus on retail forecasting. The tools will be made available for other companies, interested in applying the machine learning techniques to their own forecasting. Amazon will charge users 10 cents per 1,000 predictions.
The scientists at the New York unit will focus on demand forecasting, predicting how likely it is that a customer will select a product that is shown in a search query, and how likely that customer is to then click on a related link or purchase a product, Herbrich said.
The forecasting is expected to focus at first on fashion—apparel and shoes—a highly seasonal market segment that is hard to predict based on historical data. Styles of clothes may differ widely from season to season and year to year, and fashion shows in one year largely determine what retailers will sell in the next year’s seasons.