The shopping lists we used to scribble on the back of an envelope are increasingly already known by the supermarkets we frequent. Firstly via the loyalty cards we scan at checkouts, and more and more so from our online baskets, our shopping habits are no longer a secret. But now more retailers are using AI (artificial intelligence) – software systems that can learn for themselves – to try to automatically predict and encourage our very specific preferences and purchases like never before. Retail consultant Daniel Burke, of Blick Rothenberg, calls this “the holy grail… to build up a profile of customers and suggest a product before they realise it is what they wanted”. So the next time you dash into your local shop to buy certain snacks and a particular wine on a Friday night, perhaps you can blame AI.