Over the past few months, a Walmart neighbourhood market in Levittown, New York, has been quietly transforming—with artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled cameras, interactive displays and a data centre—to what the company calls its new Intelligent Retail Lab (IRL). It is a shopping environment designed to explore AI’s possible contribution to the store experience. Testing new, innovative ideas within a real store containing over 30,000 items is an opportunity that IRL chief executive officer Mike Hanrahan finds exhilarating, according to a Walmart statement.