In a bid to increase sales and reduce food waste, more and more of Japan's convenience stores and supermarkets are letting artificial intelligence analyze data such as past sales figures to decide what discounts to apply to perishable products.

At about 3 p.m., in a branch of the Lawson convenience store chain in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward, an in-store computer decides which food products should be discounted and by how much. A display reads "assorted sandwiches, one, ¥20 ($0.13) discount," another, "crispy ham and lettuce sandwiches, three, ¥30 discount."

A manager then prints out price tags and made the rounds, affixing them to products. Eight assorted sandwiches line the shelf, but only one, approaching its use-by time, was discounted.