Saturday March 02, 2024

Amazon launches Rufus, an AI-powered shopping assistant
  Posted by: Engadget on Feb 1st, 2024 8:48 PM

Amazon launched a new generative AI shopping assistant, Rufus, on Thursday. The chatbot is trained on Amazon’s product catalog, customer reviews, community Q&As and “information from across the web.”

The company views the assistant as customers’ one-stop shop for all their shopping needs. Rufus can answer questions like, “What to consider when buying running shoes?” and display comparisons for things such as, “What are the differences between trail and road running shoes?” It can also respond to follow-up questions like, “Are these durable?”

Amazon suggests asking Rufus general advice about product categories, such as things to look for when shopping for headphones. It can provide contextual advice as well, lending insight into products based on specific activities, events or specific cases. Other examples include asking it to compare product categories (“What’s the difference between lip gloss and lip oil?” or “Compare drip to pour-over coffee makers”). In addition, it can recommend gifts for people with particular tastes or shopping recommendations for holidays.

Amazon said in 2023 every division in its company was working on generative AI. It’s since launched AI-powered review summaries, and it began encouraging sellers to make AI listings and image backgrounds for their products.

Rufus is launching in beta today to only “a small subset of customers” in the Amazon mobile app. But it says the assistant will continue rolling out to US customers “in the coming weeks.


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