PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

Zebra Technologies Announces GenAI Partnership With Google

Zebra Technologies announced a partnership with Google Cloud, Android and Qualcomm.

The collaboration involves using generative artificial intelligence to improve employee productivity, with capabilities that will be previewed next week at the 2024 Google Cloud Next in Las Vegas, according to a Thursday (April 4) press release.

“The aim of this approach is to reduce the cognitive load on front-line employees and allow for better just-in-time decision-making with faster onboarding and training,” the company said in the release. “It will further empower the front line as labor availability and cost challenges persist and employees are required to be more multi-skilled than ever while increasing the quality of their engagement with customers.”

The tool will let front-line employees such as back-office staff and store associates use a “chat experience from a handheld device” to access information to answer questions and prompts, according to the release.

The capabilities are powered by generative AI with “domain-specific knowledge” that comes from absorbing documents like standard operating procedures, policies, employee training materials and product knowledge, the release said.

“We want to shift conversations around generative AI from ‘how’ it works to ‘what’ it can do to create new ways of working that make everyday life better for organizations, their employees and those they serve,” said Zebra Technologies Chief Technology Officer Tom Bianculli in the release. “We now see the merging of planning and execution systems in the enterprise. Generative AI will accelerate that with finely tuned, real-world models that can schedule and automate tasks, respond to requests, and give recommendations based on the context of a situation in a worker’s moment of need.”

Meanwhile, PYMNTS earlier this week spoke with AI professionals on the hype surrounding generative AI, some of it warranted, some of it not.

Zohar Bronfman, co-founder and CEO of Pecan AI, said that while generative AI gets the spotlight, the real workhorses of AI, machine learning techniques for prediction and optimization, aren’t hyped nearly enough.

Other commenters argued that the best use of AI might not be for commerce. Ilia Badeev, head of data science at Trevolution Group, said the significance of employing AI for nonprofit and scientific endeavors does not get enough press.

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