spending

Computers tracking fraud forced to adapt to public’s new lockdown spending

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When the coronavirus pandemic struck, closing down economies and travel in a way no-one had thought possible, humans had to adapt fast.

But it was not just people who needed to learn a new way of life, with the artificial intelligence systems upon which so much industry survives also requiring a little helping hand to come to terms with the dramatic shifts.

It has emerged that many AI systems which control inventory, marketing, retail and even fraud needed tweaking because they could not compute why the lives on which they made their predictions had changed so much.

Fraud detection services were among those that had to be told that a surge in purchase of power tools were simply people doing lockdown DIY.

And as top searches on Amazon switched from Lego and phone chargers to hand sanitizer and face masks, the company appeared

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Specialist food and drink retailers saw 38% spending growth in April

Consumer spending dropped 36% year-on-year in April, but supermarkets and food and drink retailers continued to grow, according to Barclaycard data.

The biggest reductions were in non-essential spending on fuel, travel, and pubs, which fell 59%, 87% and 97% respectively, as people followed government advice to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic.

But supermarkets saw a sales boost of 14% as Brits made larger shops and prepared more meals at home. This has also benefited food and drink specialists – including off-licences, greengrocers, independent convenience stores, butchers and bakeries – which saw 38% growth.

This was helped by Brits continuing to support local businesses, with more than half saying the current environment made them realise how much they value these shops.

READ MORE: UK’s lowest earners have been hardest hit by virus

UK adults are now planning to spend more in local retailers, including butchers (27%), cafés and restaurants (26%),

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