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Amazon has introduced ‘Rufus,’ an artificial intelligence shopping assistant, within its mobile app

Today, Amazon unveiled Rufus, an AI-powered shopping assistant. Rufus has been extensively trained on Amazon’s product catalog and information from various sources on the internet. The company has announced the launch of a new tool, which will initially be available to a select group of U.S. customers in beta. The tool is set to expand its availability to more users in the coming weeks. Customers can engage in chat with Rufus through Amazon’s mobile app for assistance in product searches, comparisons, and recommendations.

The introduction of the AI chatbot follows recent additions to Amazon.com that utilize artificial intelligence to enhance the shopping experience. These additions include tools to assist customers in finding well-fitting clothes, summaries of product highlights and customer sentiment in product reviews, and features designed for advertisers and sellers.

Rufus is a generative AI experience that has been extensively trained on a variety of sources, including product catalogs, customer reviews, community Q&As, and web information. As a result, it is capable of providing customers with answers to their shopping-related inquiries, regardless of whether they are just beginning their shopping journey, attempting to narrow down their options, or have more specific questions.

The company informs us that it has developed an in-house LLM specifically designed for shopping purposes, which has been trained using its own data as well as publicly available data from the internet. It did not specify whether the data included other, publicly accessible retail websites.

As an illustration, Amazon proposes that a customer seeking running shoes may inquire with Rufus about factors to take into account when purchasing a running shoe. Could you please provide some information on the distinctions between trail running shoes and road running shoes? or “Do these have a long lifespan?”

Customers who are conducting research on other products may also inquire about factors to consider when purchasing headphones. Factors to take into account when performing car detailing at home. “Could you please provide a definition of clean beauty products?” “What equipment is necessary for playing golf in cold weather?” and other related inquiries. Alternatively, you can express your desire to engage in a specific activity to Rufus, such as stating, “I would like to initiate an indoor garden.”

The AI can also assist with product comparisons or provide recommendations when inquiring about suitable gifts for Valentine’s Day. or “Which dinosaur toys are most suitable for a five-year-old?” Once Rufus provides a response, the customer has the option to explore further, more specific search outcomes.

You can engage in conversation with the AI assistant in a similar manner as you would with other AI chatbots designed for consumers, such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT or Google’s Bard. It’s worth noting that Google’s Bard also offers shopping integrations.

Rufus will be released in beta to a limited number of customers in the United States through the Amazon mobile app. Users can access Rufus by tapping on a newly added button in the bottom navigation bar. Customers have the option to input their questions by either typing or speaking into the chat dialog box of the AI, which is conveniently located at the bottom of the screen.
Upon completion, customers have the option to return to the Amazon app by swiping downward on their screen, thereby dismissing the chat dialog box and returning it to the bottom of the screen.
According to Amazon, the beta version will contribute to the enhancement of the product and its generative AI initiatives in the long run.
“Generative AI is still in its early stages, and the technology may not always produce perfect results,” stated the company in a blog post. We are committed to enhancing our AI models and refining responses to ensure that Rufus becomes increasingly valuable over time. The message stated that customers are invited to provide feedback by rating their answers using a thumbs up or thumbs down, and they also have the choice to give additional feedback in their own words.
The company assures us that the chatbot will not include any advertising when it is initially launched. However, they do mention that they may introduce additional elements to enhance the Rufus experience in the future, as long as they provide value to customers.
Since the bot was not made available for testing, we are unable to comment on its efficiency. It is important to note that Amazon’s AI chatbot Q for businesses has faced challenges, including generating false information and unintentionally disclosing confidential data.
Rufus is expected to be made available to additional customers across the United States in the near future.

About John Cusak

At first researching gadgets and technology was just a hobby, but it quickly became a lifestyle and a full-time job.

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