AI system to monitor customers’ gaze in Moscow shops

An AI system will soon be deployed across the Russian capital’s largest supermarkets to monitor customers based on their age, gender, and the direction of their gaze.

Moscow city authorities claim that the new system will be used to analyze customer behavior and “identify products of interest to them on the shelves.”

The system, developed by a local company, will soon begin testing in several large supermarkets, according to the Moscow mayor’s website.

It will help “determine which products attract the customer's attention due to their appearance” and “how to correctly place them on the store shelves,” it said.

The system should serve as a “convenient analytical tool” and help retailers respond to changes in demand more quickly.

The project is part of the “anti-crisis” package aimed at helping local businesses stay afloat as the Russian economy continues to suffer from Moscow’s ongoing war in Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions.

Similar surveillance systems exist in the West, but face greater scrutiny and public pushback amid concerns about privacy and algorithm bias, among other things. Moscow authorities say that the new AI system will not be used to collect personal data.

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