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IKEA Retail Unleashes AI Revolution

IKEA Retail unleashes AI revolution

IKEA is bringing forward a bold initiative to embed Artificial Intelligence (AI) literacy across its organisation, embracing the future of technology and humanity, hand in hand. At a time where AI is transforming the business landscape, the IKEA comprehensive training programs aim to ensure that co-workers are not just prepared but empowered to lead into the new age of AI.  

Since FY24, IKEA has set ambitious targets to provide AI literacy training to approximately 3,000 co-workers and 500 leaders. According to Parag Parekh, IKEA Retail (Ingka Group) Chief Digital Officer (CDO), ‘’This effort is a testament to the IKEA belief in the power of its people to harness technology for greater creativity, efficiency, and results’’. He adds, ‘’Our vision is clear. It’s about enhancing the capabilities of co-workers through technology, ensuring that IKEA continues to be the place where innovation and compassion go hand in hand.’’ 

A Comprehensive Training Ecosystem  

The AI literacy initiative encompasses a variety of courses tailored to meet the needs of co-workers at various levels and journeys within the organisation. These range from AI Fundamentals, available to all co-workers, to specialized training like Responsible AI and Mastering Gen AI and Algorithmic Training for Ethics. The objective is to embed a deep understanding of AI across the organisation, ensuring that IKEA values are reflected in the way the technology is utilized. For leaders, programs such as AI Exploration Days are designed to align AI potential with IKEA business priorities.  

Beyond this, IKEA has invested in programs such as the Accelerator Programme, for tech enthusiasts with a Masters of PhD in the fields of Data Science, Machine Learning or Large Language Models, which aims to fill critical roles by attracting and nurturing the right talent. ‘’We are providing a blended experience for learning, and doing in a way that future-proofs our workforce to ensure we remain at the forefront of innovation’’, says Francesco Marzoni, Global Data & Analytics Officer (CDAO), for IKEA Retail (Ingka Group).  

Collaborating with Others/or Collaborating with Service Providers 

IKEA is proactively working with various AI tools developed by the organisation or jointly with suppliers.  The Hej Copilot, launched recently, is a good example of a Gen AI tool that has been powered in collaboration with Microsoft. It is designed to assist co-workers with high ranging tasks, from test and image creation to generating ideas and crafting presentations. Hej Copilot is a prime example of augmenting human capabilities and allowing coworkers to focus on higher-value tasks. 

The Future of AI is Human at the Core 

At the heart of the IKEA enduring success lies a profound commitment to its people. For over 80 + years, IKEA has not just been about furniture; it’s been about fostering a community of individuals passionate about making life at home better for everyone. As IKEA embarks on this transformative journey, with its Digital Ethics Stance & Policy, and forward-looking work on Gen AI, it recognizes mixed emotions surrounding AI, from excitement to apprehension, and is committed to a path that starts with empathy at the heart, one that places co-workers at the forefront of all technological adoption. IKEA reinforces its commitment to being a leader in the global movement towards a more inclusive and empowering tech-enabled future and asks other companies to join and do the same. 

Source : IKEA

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12 April 2024

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