Tech Tuesdays: Battling Online Fraud + SAP AI Enhancements

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In this week’s tech news, AI-powered technology is all the rage.

SAP Sapphire Conference Unveils Generative AI Innovations

Imagine a world where AI can not only automate tasks but also help you solve problems more creatively. That’s the future SAP envisions with its generative AI innovations, which were unveiled at its annual SAP Sapphire conference.

The conference is being held today and tomorrow, June 5, and includes a variety of workshop sessions and keynote speakers. This year, the celebrity keynote is Reese Witherspoon, the Academy Award winner as well as actress, producer and Founder of Hello Sunshine.

Regarding the AI Business Innovations being showcased at the event, SAP said it is embedding generative AI across its enterprise cloud portfolio, making it easier for users to get the insights they need to make better decisions. For example, AI-generated reports in SAP SuccessFactors can provide managers with insights for compensation discussions. At the same time, forecasting capabilities in SAP Sales Cloud can predict which combinations of salespeople and products are most likely to drive sales.

“The Business AI innovations we’re announcing at Sapphire 2024 will redefine the way businesses run,” said Christian Klein, chief executive officer at SAP. “Today’s AI announcements and partnerships build on our commitment to deliver revolutionary technology that drives real-world results, helping customers unleash the agility and ingenuity they need to succeed in today’s fast-moving business landscape.”

SAP’s generative AI copilot, Joule, is also expanding throughout the company’s solution portfolio. Joule can quickly sort and contextualize data from multiple systems to improve decision-making. It launched in SAP SuccessFactors last fall and is now embedded into SAP S/4HANA Cloud solutions and others.

SAP said it is also committed to developing ethical and responsible AI. At Sapphire, SAP announced that it is adopting the 10 guiding principles of the UNESCO Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence.

The New Fraud in Town

Appriss Retail, the data and analytics solution provider, released a new report spotlighting “claims and appeasements” fraud, which the company described as a sophisticated method of fraud” that involves “a consumer claiming that an online order never arrived, didn’t arrive as expected, or the item showed up damaged, requiring a retailer to offer an appeasement or refund.”

The company said on the surface, “claiming a refund for a damaged item sounds honest, and is even categorized as ‘friendly fraud’ by the National Retail Federation (NRF), but organized retail crime (ORC) groups and savvy fraudsters are exploiting the tactic.”

And it is costly. Researchers at the company said that claims and appeasement fraud cost companies up to $35 billion annually depending on the type of retailer.

Other findings in the report include that claims and appeasement fraud cases increased by 1.5 percent yearly and that 10.5 percent of claims and appeasement cases are fraudulent. The report also revealed that fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated in targeting retailers. For example, fraudsters are joining online forums. “Professional returners band together and share tips within dark web forums on how they work around a returns system,” the report’s authors said adding that they’re also running professional returns fraud services. “Some fraudsters run a service to be hired to execute claims and appeasements fraud and advertise online within forums.”

Michael Osborne, chief executive officer of Appriss Retail, said the boom of e-commerce and omnichannel shopping over the last few years “has fueled fraudsters looking to deceit retailers with online fraudulent claims for refunds and appeasements. The problem is costing retailers billions of dollars, but advancements in AI can help retailers keep pace with professional returners.”

The report noted that retailers and brands can use predictive analytics and AI-powered solutions “to help identify suspicious behaviors such as fraudsters buying up items and making claims across multiple locations.” Appriss Retail said the tools can track behaviors and alert retail associates “of potential claims and appeasements fraud. Appriss Retail research finds the tools may help reduce claims and appeasement cases by 6.5 percent.”

Powered by AI Ltd., the SaaS website builder platform, has been heavily promoting its Wix Studio solution, which is an easy-to-use website platform designed for a variety of business, e-commerce and marketing applications. The company has been promoting the platform builder on social media, especially YouTube.

For smaller apparel and footwear brands, the platform is ideal. Users don’t need a PhD. in technology to create a website. Wix also offers AI-powered tools to help businesses grow their digital presence.

Last month, Wix rolled out three new AI-powered image enhancement and creation tools “to help users create and display high-quality images that improve, customize and personalize visual content to their specific needs.”

Wix said the new tools, an AI Image Creator, the Object Eraser, and the AI Image Editor, “signify a significant leap forward in user-centric design, ensuring that AI technology is tailored to users’ needs.”

The company said the additions build upon Wix’s current suite of AI features and its AI Website Builder.

The AI Image Creator is powered by and uses a text-to-image request prompt. The solution then offers various styles for users, including photo, image, sketch and other styles.

Wix said the Object Eraser enables users to erase unwanted objects in their image easily, without a prompt. “This helps users modify their images to create the desired visuals without needing professional photo editing skills,” the company said.

With the AI Image Editor users can highlight a table in an image “and instruct the tool through a prompt to change it from wood to look like marble and it automatically changes it.”

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