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Yoox Net-A-Porter Group working with Modena on AI

Jun '20
Pic: Yoox Net-A-Porter
Pic: Yoox Net-A-Porter
Yoox Net-A-Porter Group, the most advanced fashion hub in Italy for artificial intelligence and visual recognition, is collaborating with the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia to set up a lab to work on artificial intelligence and computer vision. It will develop a research programme that aims to give customers a perfect online shopping experience.

The three-year partnership with AImageLab, the prestigious artificial intelligence research centre of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, will set up a research programme led by Professor Rita Cucchiara, one of the leading experts in the field and director of the National Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Systems.

The ultimate goal is to completely revolutionise the online shopping experiences of customers all over the world, developing cutting-edge technological solutions thanks to the processing of the group’s huge archive, which contains over 20 years of data and tens of millions of images.

As a starting point, the lab will mainly focus on two topics: Visual Search and Virtual Try On. The studied solutions will allow to identify in Yoox Net-A-Porter’s database not only the clothes but also specific details such as materials, lengths, colours, and classify the garments based on these elements. Additional functions based on artificial intelligence will be developed, which will allow to further enhance customers’ virtual interaction experience with the products.

The visual processing by artificial intelligence allows to process an infinite amount of data quickly, even from a qualitative point of view, which will allow to understand, for example, if a garment is made of pure cotton or virgin wool. Yoox Net-A-Porter will put at the disposal of the research programme its computing capacity present in its data centres, whose systems are able to perform a large amount of operations per second.

Artificial Intelligence has become increasingly essential in the fashion industry. Through the use of this technology, it will be easier to predict market demand, and guarantee customers a perfect look and fit of the items ordered online.

In addition, artificial intelligence can also make a difference during these difficult times, through the application of the latest generation of Deep Learning techniques. For this reason, always in collaboration with the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Yoox Net-A-Porter will participate in the Folding @ Home project and will make its computing power available to the scientific community for projects related to COVID-19 research. The Folding @ Home initiative allows any citizen and company in the world to donate their computing power for the simulation of protein dynamics and the development of new therapies.

“The collaboration with one of the world excellences in the study of Artificial Intelligence allows us to explore the potential of technology in support of humanity in an innovative way,” Federico Marchetti, chairman and CEO of Yoox Net-A-Porter Group, said.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (SV)

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