Ahold Delhaize Helps Launch AI Innovation Center

Nicole Gillo
Senior Editor
Ahold Delhaize

The Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence (ICAI) has officially launched at Amsterdam Science Park in the Netherlands. Serving as a means for science and business to join forces in the field of artificial intelligence, the first lab within ICAI is a partnership with global supermarket operator Ahold Delhaize.

ICAI is focused on developing AI technology through joint labs with the business sector, government and knowledge institutes. “The Netherlands has all the resources to take up a prominent position in the international AI landscape: top talent, innovation strength and research at world-class level,” says Maarten de Rijke, director of ICAI and professor of information retrieval at the University of Amsterdam. “ICAI combines these strengths in a unique national initiative.”

AI for Retail Lab

In the joint ICAI-Ahold Delhaize industry lab, dubbed the AIRLab, seven PhDs will conduct research into socially responsible algorithms that can be used to make recommendations to consumers and into transparent AI technology for managing the flow of goods. The research will take place at Ahold's Albert Heijn and bol.com units. In addition, AIRLab will focus on talent development tracks.

“[We] look forward to working with ICAI,” said Frans Muller, deputy chief executive officer of Ahold Delhaize. “Artificial Intelligence offers countless possibilities for the retail industry, the consumer and society at large. With this partnership, we want to further develop our ongoing initiatives and learn how AI can be used to better serve the interests of our customers." 

"For instance, we will look at how to further optimize Albert Heijn’s supply chain by, for example, improving the availability of goods by taking into account local weather conditions," he said. "Also, we will investigate ways to make the assortment of bol.com even more accessible to customers. These insights and knowledge can be applied to our brands in the United States and Europe.”