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Amazon debuts new AI shopping assistant Rufus

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Amazon introduced Rufus, a shopping assistant powered by AI that can answer customer questions and provide product recommendations.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said, “This morning we launched Rufus, an expert shopping assistant trained on our product and customer data that represents a significant customer experience improvement for discovery.”

“Rufus lets customers ask shopping journey questions like, ‘What is the best golf ball to use for better spin control?’ or ‘Which are the best cold weather rain jackets?’ and get thoughtful explanations for what matters and recommendations on products,” he continued.

“You can carry out a conversation with Rufus on other related or unrelated questions, and it retains context coherently,” explained the CEO.

“You can sift through our rich product pages by asking Rufus questions on any product features, and it’ll return answers quickly,” added Jassy.

Rufus is available in beta for a subset of U.S. users in the Amazon mobile app, with plans for a wider rollout.

Jassy said, “We’re at the start of what Rufus will do, with further personalization and expansion coming, but we’re excited about how it’ll make discovery easier on Amazon.”

“It lets customers discover items in a very different way than they have been able to on e-commerce websites,” he continued.

Customers can interact with Rufus by typing or speaking questions into the search bar.

The AI assistant is trained on Amazon’s product catalog, customer reviews, and web data to provide personalized responses and help customers discover products in a new way.

Rajiv Mehta, Amazon VP of search and conversational shopping, and Trishul Chilimbi, VP and scientist in Amazon’s AI division, wrote, “From broad research at the start of a shopping journey such as ‘what to consider when buying running shoes?’ to comparisons such as ‘what are the differences between trail and road running shoes?’ to more specific questions such as ‘are these durable?’, Rufus meaningfully improves how easy it is for customers to find and discover the best products to meet their needs, integrated seamlessly into the same Amazon shopping experience they use regularly.”

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