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Guidelines for AI Usage in the Retail Sector

As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to expand throughout all industries, the National Retail Federation (NRF) has published a series of guidelines called the Principles for Use of Artificial Intelligence in the Retail Sector. These guidelines strive to encourage governance of AI technology, promote consumer trust and facilitate innovation and beneficial use of AI technologies. Here are some of the key takeaways for retailers in the independent channel.

  • Retailers should develop strong internal governance of AI tools and capabilities as a foundational basis for managing risks and ensuring that AI delivers expected benefits. These practices should cover the company’s direct AI or data science teams, along with stakeholders in legal, compliance, marketing, communications and other business roles.
  • Retailers should be transparent about their uses of AI that have a legal or similarly significant effect on a customer, establish safeguards to prevent unlawful discrimination against protected classes of individuals and align their governance of consumer-facing AI applications with existing internal privacy, cybersecurity and other data governance policies.
  • Retailers should engage in ongoing oversight and review of AI applications that may directly impact employees or that can be used by the workforce to support business needs.
  • Retailers should establish clear guidelines and expectations for business partners that are providing AI tools, data sets and services.

About Lindsey Thompson

Lindsey joined the NHPA staff in 2021 as an associate editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. A native of Ohio, Lindsey earned a B.S. in journalism and minors in business and sociology from Ohio University. She loves spending time with her husband, two kids, two cats and one dog, as well as doing DIY projects around the house, going to concerts, boating and cheering on the Cleveland Indians.

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