National Retail Federation outlines AI principles

The National Retail Federation (NRF), the world’s largest retail trade association, has outlined its retail principles for AI.

The global organisation said that its new principles, developed through its Centre for Digital Risk & Innovation, would encourage appropriate and effective governance of AI, promote consumer trust, and facilitate ongoing innovation and beneficial use of AI technologies.

As part of its new guidelines, the NRF has called on retailers to develop strong internal governance of AI tools and capabilities as a foundational basis for managing risks and ensuring that AI delivers expected benefits.

It also urged companies in the retail space to be transparent about their uses of AI that have a legal or similarly significant effect on a customer and to establish safeguards to prevent unlawful discrimination against protected classes of individuals.

For workforce applications and use and business partner accountability, the trade association said retailers should engage in ongoing oversight and review of AI applications that may directly impact employees, while also establishing clear guidelines for business partners that are providing AI tools, data sets and services.

“Retailers use AI to better serve their customers, improve the shopping experience and increase the efficiency of their operations,” said Christian Beckner, NRF vice president of retail technology and cybersecurity and executive director of the NRF Centre for Digital Risk & Innovation. “As retailers of all sizes continue to expand their AI capabilities, these general principles for the use of AI are increasingly critical to the industry.”

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