Walmart came to CES 2024 in Las Vegas to talk about artificial intelligence. The company said that merged with Microsoftto create something she refers to as shopping experiences powered by artificial intelligence. In his post, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon described how the integration of artificial intelligence across its website and apps will be used to studying the behavior of shoppers and designing future purchases.
As expected, given Microsoft’s involvement, the artificial intelligence underpinning these experiences will based on extensive language models. The AI will use a combination of retail-specific search capabilities based on Walmart’s proprietary technologies and Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI service.
Walmart’s new search features based on generative artificial intelligence will be available on mobile devices with operating systems iOS a Android and also on company website. New search functions will provide shoppers more ways to interact with the seller’s digital goods. For example, instead of searching for items like sodas and chips, a shopper can search for product recommendations for specific events like a birthday party or party by telling the website in natural language what they need help buying.
During the keynote, McMilon stated that the algorithms are designed to follow the search highlighted relevant product categories. These new algorithmic shopping initiatives will compete directly with Google’s AI-powered SGE search engine and Amazon’s large language model-based product listing.
Although most AI efforts seem to be focused on consumers, the company said the new AI search features won’t just help shoppers. It will also expand the tools that will be available to store employees and that they have help streamline work-related tasks and workflows. This is evidenced by the announcement that at Walmart-owned Sam’s Club, employees will soon no longer need to check receipts when leaving the store. Instead, it deploys an AI-powered tool to verify customer purchases.