Artificial Intelligence in the beauty industry: Impact on innovation


Data science consultant, Oriflame Cosmetics AB, Stockholm, Sweden


Artificial intelligence (AI) is a general-purpose technology (GPT) which is opening the gate to a new industrial era. Its use is not solely limited to digital products and Silicon Valley tech companies any longer, as AI is being used more and more for research and innovation across various sectors of activity, including the beauty industry. This article will define AI, machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL), how these technologies are related and how they are currently used for research and innovation purpose in the beauty industry.

“Machine learning” (ML) and “artificial intelligence” (AI) are two terms that have been gaining more and more popularity over the last half decade (1). They are often used interchangeably and sometimes even incorrectly, so let us start with a brief definition of these terms. Artificial intelligence is a term referring to software or hardware exhibiting a seemingly intelligent behaviour. However, what seems intelligent evolves as AI technology matures, making AI an ever-shifting definition. The checker-playing program written by Christopher Starchey in 1951 would hardly be considered “AI” by today’s standards! Machine learning is a subset of AI enabling software to learn through training, instead of being programmed manually. By processing training data, ML systems provide predictions that improve as more data is fed to them. Machine learning systems can be trained by supervised, unsupervised or reinforcement learning. Supervised learning requires data to be labelled (for example “dry skin” or “oily skin”) for the ML algorithms to learn, while unsupervised learning aims at extracting patterns from data without a label req ...