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.