Amazon on Thursday introduced Rufus, a new shopping assistant with artificial intelligence. The chatbot is trained based on Amazon’s product catalog, customer reviews, community questions and answers, and “information from around the web.”

Amazon recommends asking Rufus for general product advice (like what to look for when buying headphones). It can also provide advice on the suitability of a product for a particular activity (e.g. hiking) or event (e.g. celebration). Other examples are requests to compare product categories (Eg: What is the difference between a drip coffee maker and a filter coffee maker?). In addition, they can recommend gifts for people with certain tastes. Rufus can also answer more fine-tuned questions about the specific product page you’re viewing (Ex: Can this jacket be machine washed?).

Amazon said that by 2023, every division of its company was working on generative artificial intelligence. Since then, Amazon has launched AI-powered review summaries and started encouraging sellers to create AI-powered descriptions and visuals for their products.

“We will be improving our AI models and fine-tuning the answers to make Rufus more and more useful. Customers are encouraged to leave feedback by rating answers with a thumbs up or thumbs down, and also have the option to provide free feedback,” said Amazon CEO Rajiv Mehta.

Rufus is currently in beta for only a “small subset of customers” and will appear (to those in beta) after an update to Amazon’s mobile app. The service should also be rolled out to other customers in the US “in the coming weeks”. Once you’re admitted into the beta, you can invoke Rufus by typing or speaking a query in the search bar. A Rufus chat window will appear at the bottom of the screen.

Source: engadget.com