The progress of AI in factories is often related to the very human fear of being replaced by machines. Indeed, one can consider AI as a quicker, more efficient and more reliable way to perform tasks formerly adapted to the humans. However, the benefit of AI lies in a clever and successful blend between the human capacities and the AI advantages. Stitch Fix, the on-line shopping personal assistant created in 2011, demonstrates that this is possible.
Stitch Fix system seems to be incredibly simple from the customer’s point of view: after subscribing and providing personal informations to the website, the customer benefits from a clothing and styling service that delivers apparel to his door. But in fact, this is the result of a very intricate system where AI and humans are intermingled. Both elements play a very precise part, completing each other, which offers to Stitch Fix a real accuracy.
The data furnished by the customers are of two types: structured information such as body measurements or filled out surveys and unstructured information such as Pinterest boards, social medias or personal notes. AI deals with the structured information in order to give automated recommendations about the nature of the product needed, taking into account body measurements and shape. It specifies the work of the stylists who take care about the following part of the work. Their human hindsight are used to be as accurate and personalised as possible. It is thanks to their understanding of the client and interactions with him that they are going to choose the actual apparel.
Here we cannot help but considering Stitch Fix‘s good command of AI and human expertise. Indeed, the coexistence of one is not hampering the functioning of the other, but on the contrary makes the system always more competitive.