Meet the Researcher: Dr Raheleh Jafari

In the first in a new series of posts on our researchers, we introduce Dr Raheleh Jafari to the Future Fashion Factory community.

Dr Raheleh Jafari took up her post at the University of Leeds in October, as a University Academic Fellow in AI Technology in Fashion Design. Having studied and researched around the world – including her native Iran, as well as Mexico and Norway – Raheleh has come to Leeds to develop her research on using artificial intelligence (AI) to develop new tools and analytical techniques for the fashion and textile industry.

Key to Raheleh’s research is developing the next generation of retail bots, using machine learning and AI to bring these tools closer to reaching the tone and complexity of human conversation. Bots that can cope with sudden changes in conversation topic, for example, will be able to provide more personalised services to meet customer needs more effectively.

Dr Raheleh Jafari at the University of Leeds

Training these robots requires large quantities of data, and Raheleh is investigating whether machine learning technologies can be used to generate new data from smaller samples that have already been collected. However, she is keen to hear from companies who would be interested in trialling new technologies using samples from their own data resources.

Collaborative projects like this could explore the ways in which more intelligent retail bots can drive sales and customer engagement online, as well as the potential to improve the in-store experience for customers.

Data-driven design is one of Future Fashion Factory’s core research themes, making better use of AI and big data analytics to understand, forecast and interpret consumer preferences across different markets and demographics. With fresh insights into how consumers shop and what they buy, brands will be better equipped to produce the right products for the right customers at the right time, driving sales and ultimately supporting growth.

If you have an idea for a research and development (R&D) project that might make use of AI or big data analytics, Raheleh would like to hear from you. Contact her to discuss your aims at