Amazon has taken the covers From an artificial intelligence shopping assistant, called Rufus – the same name The company's corgi mascot. The new chatbot is trained on Amazon's product library and customer reviews, as well as information from the web, allowing it to answer questions about products, make comparisons, make suggestions, and more.
Rufus is still in beta and will only appear to “select customers” before rolling out to more users in the coming weeks. If you have access to the beta, you can open a chat with Rufus by launching the Amazon mobile app and then typing or speaking questions into the search bar. A Rufus chat window will appear at the bottom of your screen, which you can expand to get an answer to your question, select suggested questions, or ask another question.
Amazon began answering questions using its AI-powered chatbot earlier this month, as they began appearing on some users' product pages. The company says Rufus can answer questions like, “What are the differences between trail and trail running shoes?” Or “What are good gifts for Valentine's Day?” You can also ask questions about a specific product you're searching for on Amazon, such as “Is this jacket machine washable?” The chatbot will then use information from the product list, customer reviews, and community Q&A to provide an answer.
As shown in the embedded video above, it appears that Rufus's suggested questions will appear even if you perform a simple search, such as “coffee maker.” I'm not sure I like the idea of having more clutter on my screen when doing research, but I'll have to try it myself first to see if it helps.
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