Amazon introduces AI-powered shopping assistant Rufus; From answering questions to making comparisons, learn what it can do

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Amid the recent boom in AI, Amazon is making efforts to incorporate this technology into its suite of products and services. A recent report suggests that e-commerce giant Alexa is looking to supercharge its voice assistant with personalized AI tech and will also unveil a new subscription model for it called Alexa Plus. Now, Amazon has announced its latest AI tool in the form of Rufus, an AI-powered shopping assistant.

What is Rufus?

According to Bloomberg, Amazon is adding an artificial intelligence shopping companion to its retail store to help shoppers shop and find answers to questions that are more complex than a keyword search.

The shopping assistant launched Thursday for a “small subset of customers” who use Amazon's mobile app, the online retail giant said in a blog post. The company said users can ask the software anything they want, such as starting an indoor garden or Valentine's Day recommendations, among other questions.

For years, shoppers have manually typed keywords or product names into Amazon's search bar, looking for a specific item or searching based on its attributes. That functionality suddenly seemed outdated with the launch of OpenAI's ChatGPT and other generative AI-based tools, capable of generating products based on strings of conversational text and ready to respond with recommendations and comparisons.

Walmart Inc. Last month expanded the rollout of an AI-based tool that allows buyers to search for products by use cases rather than naming products specifically. The app is available on the Walmart app for iOS users.

(with inputs from Bloomberg)

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