Walmart Digital Eye Cameras at Checkout Come Under Fire

By | June 15, 2020
Walmart AI

From the DailyMail UK June 2020

A group of anonymous Walmart workers have raised concerns about the anti-shoplifting technology used to monitor the company’s self-checkout kiosks.

A group that calls themselves ‘Concerned Home Office Associates’ has circulated a video documenting the system’s flaws, including frequent failures to identify unscanned items, and incorrectly identifying personal items potentially shoplifted.

In an email sent to company management at Walmart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, the group claims to be ‘past their breaking point,’ saying the system’s frequent false positives are irritating customers and putting workers at greater risk of COVID-19 exposure by unnecessarily having to verify customer’s purchases at unsafe distances.

The system was originally designed by Everseen–an artificial intelligence and technology firm based in Cork, Ireland–and relies on overhead cameras, or ‘digital eyes,’ that film customers as they scan objects into the register.

The system uses overhead cameras to identify items that haven’t been scanned into the self-checkout system but were still placed in the customer’s bag on the other side, which momentarily locks the register and requires a Walmart worker to further investigate

In one example, a customer stacked two Reese’s White Peanut Butter Cups packages on top of each other and scanned the barcode for only one of them, while the Everseen system couldn’t detect there were actually two.