YNAP partners with academics for AI lab

Yoox Net-A-Porter Group (YNAP) has partnered with the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy to create a joint lab dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision in the fashion industry.

The three-year partnership with AImageLab, will set up a research program led by professor Rita Cucchiara, one of the leading experts in the field and director of the National Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Systems.

The goal is to completely revolutionise the online shopping experience, using the group’s archive, which contains over 20 years of data and tens of millions of images. The aim is to organise the database not only the clothes, but also specific details such as materials, lengths and colours, classifying the garments based on these elements.

YNAP will also offer the computing capacity of its data centres, to help power the AI algorithms.

As a starting point, the lab will mainly focus on two topics: visual search and virtual try on.

Federico Marchetti, chairman and chief executive of YNAP, commented: “Artificial intelligence has become increasingly essential in the fashion industry and data analysis represents a key tool both for buyers, who can confront the market by anticipating its trends, and for customers who can enjoy a highly personalised shopping experience.

“Through the use of this technology, it will be easier to predict market demand, and guarantee customers a perfect look and fit of the items ordered online.”

Scientific director Rita Cucchiara added: “YNAP AI LAB @ UNIMORE is an excellent opportunity to test scientific results which come from the analysis and the study of images, which we have always researched.

“This collaboration will allow to maximize the efficiency of YNAP’s internal systems, thanks to the recovery of useful information starting from images, using state-of-the-art techniques, and to go even further, using innovative approaches, such as Virtual Try On, to create increasingly unique shopping experiences for customers.”

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