Amazon launches generative AI tool to answer shoppers’ questions

Amazon launches generative AI tool to answer shoppers' questions

Amazon trailers are parked at an Amazon Air gateway at Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida, on Sept. 26, 2023.

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Amazon is rolling out an artificial intelligence tool that can answer shoppers’ questions about a product, a spokesperson confirmed, as the company continues to experiment with generative AI.

The new feature in Amazon’s mobile app prompts users to ask questions about a specific item. It then returns an answer within a few seconds, primarily by summarizing information collected from product reviews and the listing itself.

“We’re constantly inventing to help make customers’ lives better and easier, and are currently testing a new feature powered by generative AI to improve shopping on Amazon by helping customers get answers to commonly asked product questions,” Maria Boschetti, an Amazon spokesperson, said in an email.

The feature could keep shoppers from scrolling through pages of reviews or reading through a listing to find information about a product.

Unlike OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Amazon’s new feature isn’t equipped to carry out a conversation, but it can respond to creative prompts. On a listing for a women’s vest, it could write a haiku about the product. It was also able to describe the item in the style of Yoda from Star Wars. The tool is designed not to veer off subject, and will return an error message if it can’t answer questions such as, “Who is Jeff Bezos?”

The tool was first spotted by Marketplace Pulse, an e-commerce research firm.

Amazon has introduced several AI tools to its site in recent months. Last June, the company started testing AI-generated summaries of product reviews, and it has launched AI features for third-party sellers that help them write listings, as well as generate photos for ads. Elsewhere, it has rolled out “Q,” an AI chatbot for companies to assist with daily tasks, and Bedrock, a generative AI service for Amazon Web Services customers.

In Amazon’s latest earnings call, CEO Andy Jassy said the company is using generative AI to forecast inventory and to determine the best last-mile routes for drivers.

“Generative AI is going to change every customer experience, and it’s going to make it much more accessible for everyday developers, and even business users, to use,” Jassy told CNBC’s Jim Cramer last month. “So I think there’s going to be a lot of societal good.”

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