An unmanned convenience store opened Monday at Takanawa Gateway Station, making use of artificial intelligence not just to speed up checkouts but also to prevent shoplifting.

The store is a key feature at the station, which opened on March 14 as the first addition to the Yamanote loop line in nearly 50 years.

About 50 cameras in the roughly 60-sq.-meter store identify every item that's picked up. The store's exit gates open after the customer pays.

The AI has been trained to recognize customer behavior, including how items are carried, and it almost fully prevents shoplifting by accurately recognizing when merchandise is taken from the shelves, according to developer Touch To Go Co.

Attempts in a demonstration to hide merchandise under clothes or to avoid the cameras while stashing them in a bag were all detected.

"Our AI learned by capturing images from different angles. It is not completely fail-proof, but it is almost impossible to shoplift," said Touch To Go President Tomoki Akutsu.