AI has inserted itself into nearly every industry, and a new announcement from a retailer and a leading tech company in Canada shows just how true that is.
SSENSE has joined forces with Element AI to release FashionGen, a collection of hundreds of thousands of images from SSENSE’s platform to be shown at this year’s European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV). On top of that, the two Canadian companies will jointly sponsor a small prize based on an image generation challenge.
These two organizations are coming together to show how AI can be utilized in a multitude of different scenarios, including retail and fashion. Element AI will manage the challenge and use it as an opportunity to bring academic and research into SSENSE’s world to better understand just how AI can influence the industry.
“AI has the potential to power distinctive customer experiences across our online and physical touch points. A key pillar of the AI strategy at SSENSE is finding and interacting with the right set of partners such as Element AI,” said Vincent Ho-Tin-Noe, VP of product management for SSENSE.
SSENSE has a large-scale data set through their e-commerce platform, and by combining that with Element AI’s expertise, the firm can better understand hierarchies of visual features and advance their understanding of deep learning. The idea here is to just make more data available to the right partners so they can, in turn, streamline how those industries work and scale.
“Fashion is in the midst of a technological revolution and machine learning is key to unlocking a new universe of possibilities,” said Element AI CEO Jean Francois Gagné. “New technologies are within reach and are now closer to reality thanks to the comprehensive collection of e-commerce images SSENSE is releasing and Element AI’s ability to layer our advanced computer vision and machine learning abilities over the data.”
Many might not think AI has a real fit in the fashion world, but that all comes down to the use of what’s called generative design and augmented creativity. If AI can help create and fine-tune features such as style-transfer, semantic manipulation, latent-space interpolation and text-to-image generation, designers can instantaneously create and change ideas on the fly, leading to more inventive art and a quicker turnaround.
However, exploration in this area has been slow due to the lack of wide datasets. SSENSE is hoping to fix that by releasing their images to partners through the FashionGen platform. These are not just photos of models; the platform includes tens of thousands of objects rotated in multiple poses, descriptive captions from experts, deep metadata, and HD photos taken in studio conditions.
The Montreal-based SSENSE is an e-commerce fashion platform with over 50 million monthly page views and is a member of the SCALE.AI supercluster announced earlier this year. Element AI is one of the most recognizable AI firms in Canada and works to turn innovative ideas into scalable business solutions.