Artificial Intelligence & Fashion: Its impact on the textile industry

Intelligence artificielle & Mode : Son impact sur l'industrie textile - HYTRAPE

In recent weeks, the question of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has continued to spark debate. We wonder if this progress is truly positive or if it will end up devouring us like worms. The commercial possibilities are numerous and the apocalyptic theories inevitable.

While many brilliant minds of our time, such as Stephen Hawking or Bill Gates, believe that at some point AI may decide that humans are no longer necessary, other theorists are optimistic about this scientific advancement. , which would allow the implementation of a hybrid man-machine model. Here, optimization of human activity would lead to the generation of new business opportunities.

But what about its real impact on fashion? The questions are numerous. With a substantial change in the entire paradigm, from production models to distribution, the textile industry is facing new challenges. Artificial Intelligence is more present than ever. Some uses are already well integrated into our daily lives, such as analyzing data to create personalized product recommendations, increasing sales and generating customer satisfaction. Some aspects of the impact of AI on the textile industry:

  1. Creation and design: AI can analyze huge amounts of data on trends, consumer preferences and cultural influences to help designers create clothing and accessories that meet market tastes. Generative AI, on the other hand, can create unique and innovative designs by combining elements of existing styles or exploring new shapes and textures.

  2. Production and supply chain: AI can optimize production processes, improving machine efficiency and reducing waste. It can also improve the supply chain by predicting raw material demands and streamlining logistics. AI also makes it possible to track and evaluate the sustainable and ethical practices of suppliers, contributing to a more responsible fashion industry.

  3. Inventory management and logistics: AI helps better manage inventory by predicting needs and optimizing the distribution of products between points of sale. Logistics can be improved with algorithms that optimize transportation routes and delivery times.

  4. Customer Experience and Marketing: AI can personalize consumers' experiences by analyzing their preferences, purchasing behaviors, and interactions with brands. This makes it possible to provide personalized product recommendations and tailor marketing campaigns to target consumers more effectively. Chatbots and virtual assistants can also provide instant, personalized customer support.

  5. Virtual reality and augmented reality: AI can be used to develop virtual reality and augmented reality applications that allow consumers to virtually try on clothing and accessories, or visualize how items fit into their surroundings. This can improve the online shopping experience and reduce product returns.

  6. Sustainable and ethical fashion: AI can contribute to more sustainable and ethical fashion by identifying materials and production processes with the least impact on the environment and promoting fair labor practices.

In manufacturing processes, AI helps optimize the reduction of waste and environmental impact. It is also used in inventory management, helping to predict inventory-related data and optimize productivity.

So far, all of these uses seem to have been peacefully and uncontroversially integrated into our lives. Until what we call Generative Artificial Intelligence appeared. In the field of design, generative AI makes it possible to create unique and unprecedented things. We've already seen this from brands like G-Star Raw and Levis. The ability to create designs that are impossible to achieve manually and, at the same time, ensure time management for human teams is something that, at first glance, seems useful for an industry that is moving faster and faster. Brands like New Facet use this as their competitive advantage.

It is precisely this rapid advance in Artificial Intelligence that worries major technological leaders. Among them are Elon Musk and other Silicon Valley experts, who recently expressed their concerns in this open letter. In the document, they urge AI labs to cease their development, warning of “profound risks to society and humanity” if optimal research and study into their uses and applications is not conducted.

AI technology is making its mark, and not just in the fashion industry. From images of Pope Francis wearing a white padded coat to fake photos of Trump's arrest, his imprint may be questionable or, at the very least, controversial.

If we place AI in a “man-machine” model that values ​​human capital, it can truly generate new business opportunities. It remains to be seen whether AI will really leave a necessary and positive imprint or if, on the contrary, it will turn against us in the future, as Silicon Valley predicts according to the steps it is taking.

Ultimately, it is crucial to find a balance between the responsible exploitation of Artificial Intelligence and the preservation of humanity and our ethics. Debates about AI will undoubtedly continue to drive discussion, but one thing is certain: it is our responsibility to ensure that this technology is used in a way that enriches our lives, not destroys them. The future of humanity and the fashion industry will largely depend on how we understand and integrate Artificial Intelligence into our systems.