Minnesota-based Target just announced today that they have plans to roll out a new tool utilizing what's called Generative Artificial Intelligence to all Target locations. Everywhere you turn it seems that there's new AI this and new AI that.

But I think AI offers a great opportunity for improvement when used like how Target plans to use their new tool.

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What is Generative AI?

But first, what the heck is Generative AI? And how is it different from just regular AI?

Traditional AI uses specific information it's been programmed to know in order to execute a task. The example that Forbes gives is when you play chess online versus a computer.

"The computer knows all the rules; it can predict your moves and make its own based on a pre-defined strategy. It's not inventing new ways to play chess but selecting from strategies it was programmed with."

Eugene Chystiakov, Unsplash
Eugene Chystiakov, Unsplash
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But Generative AI generates something new. So for example, ChatGPT is generative AI. You can ask it to write you a story about a dog and a cat being best friends and it will spit something out for you.

Jonathan Kemper, Unsplash
Jonathan Kemper, Unsplash
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It still is limited to the information it knows and the information (or lack thereof) that you give it, but it's still a really useful tool to help improve workflow. And that's exactly what Target is going to be using it for.

Target's New AI Tool

Target's new tool using Generative AI is to help team members' workflow. It's called Store Companion and in the company's press release they write that it "can answer on-the-job process questions, coach new team members, support store operations management and more."

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Which I think is perfect. A human isn't going to be able to memorize every little thing in the employee handbook, so when something comes up that they don't know the answer to they can just ask the Store Companion and get the answer. That's going to make everyone's lives so much easier, which is exactly what AI is meant to do.

Target expects this new tool to be in all stores by August.

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