The Amazon app on your phone just got a cool AI feature
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Last year, Amazon’s CEO, Andy Jassy, highlighted the widespread adoption of AI across all business divisions within the company. Today, Amazon has unveiled its most ambitious AI offering yet: an advanced chatbot named Rufus designed to enhance your online shopping experience.
Think of Rufus as a counterpart to ChatGPT, but with a profound knowledge of every item in Amazon’s extensive product catalog. Furthermore, it possesses the capability to access the internet, enabling it to fetch information and provide detailed answers to your queries. For instance, if you’re in the market for a microSD card, Rufus can recommend the ideal speed class for your specific photography requirements.
Amazon asserts that you can simply type your inquiries into the search box, and Rufus will take care of the rest. This generative AI chatbot is trained on a vast array of data sources, including the product catalog, customer reviews, community Q&As, and data gathered from across the web.
In essence, Amazon aims to streamline the process of searching for information online before making a purchase decision, as Rufus can provide immediate answers. Moreover, Rufus offers the convenience of directly posing questions instead of sifting through product pages in search of specific details, making your shopping experience more efficient and informative.
An AI nudge to informed shopping
Amazon states that Rufus possesses the capability to respond to general inquiries like “What should I consider when purchasing running shoes?” or even simpler requests such as “I want to upgrade my workstation,” and it will automatically provide recommendations for relevant products. Essentially, Rufus functions as a web-crawling recommendation engine, offering responses to queries, whether they are related to specific products or not.
According to the company’s official blog post, customers have the option to expand the chat dialog box to view answers to their questions, select from suggested questions, and pose additional inquiries within the chat dialog box.
In cases where questions like “Is this phone case reliable?” arise, the AI bot will offer a concise response based on product reviews, frequently asked questions, and details found on the product page. Ultimately, Rufus aims to assist customers in making well-informed purchase decisions with the support of an AI chatbot.
Currently, Rufus is exclusively accessible to a limited group of Amazon mobile app users within the United States as part of a beta testing phase. It’s important to note that this represents an early iteration of the product, and Amazon cautions that Rufus may not always provide completely accurate responses. Over the next few weeks, the AI chatbot will gradually become available to a wider audience within its home market.
Rufus stands out as a thoughtful and practical implementation of generative AI technology, distinct from the often-hyped AI innovations that come with hidden limitations. Notably, Rufus appears to be available free of charge, without any mandatory requirement for Amazon Prime membership.