As consumers increasingly rely on technology when they shop, the retail industry is nearing a state of “retail singularity” in which bots, natural language voice interfaces and broadly integrated data reacts to and predicts the what, when and why of shopping preferences and behavior.

The idea has been discussed for a few years, but is now gaining momentum. Derived from the concept of “technological singularity,” a term that refers to a hypothetical date when machines will surpass humans in intelligence, retail singularity is the point at which the distinction between online and offline shopping is meaningless. This, observers say, will occur when artificial intelligence…

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