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Innovation

Meet Rufus: Amazon launches an AI chatbot to help shoppers

Imagine getting help for your shopping from a chatbot that's trained on Amazon's extensive product catalog. Well, now you can.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
Amazon Rufus

An example of conversations with Amazon Rufus.

Amazon/ZDNET

Amazon has been working on artificial intelligence (AI) solutions and foundational models for years, and now the company is launching Rufus, a generative AI-powered chatbot that's specifically built for its customers. 

Rufus works much like ChatGPT. The AI-enabled technology is capable of having text conversations with users, providing them with personalized information while maintaining context, so shoppers can ask follow-up questions. The biggest difference between Rufus and ChatGPT is that Rufus is more of a shopping assistant who is trained on Amazon's product catalog, customer reviews, Q&A, and information that's available online. 

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Using Rufus, customers can narrow searches using terms specific to their situation, but which don't always appear in a filter menu when combing over search results. Rufus can also answer questions in a similar way to ChatGPT, Copilot, and Bard. For example, shoppers can ask Rufus, 'What should I consider if I want to start an indoor herb garden?' or 'What should I consider when buying USB-C cables?'

Customers can also use Rufus to ask for product or category comparisons, to raise specific questions about a product while on the product listing page, and to seek recommendations.

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Rufus is launching today in beta on the Amazon shopping mobile app to a small number of customers and will roll out to additional shoppers in the US progressively over the coming weeks. 

Amazon has been gradually adding AI features to its shopping platform, including AI-generated review highlights, Fit Review Highlights for personalized size guidance, and AI assistance for sellers to create engaging product listings. 

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Amazon hopes integrating generative AI into its shopping experience will enhance the decision-making process and boost customer confidence. The company will improve Rufus based on customer experience, and it plans to test new features and expand the availability of the AI chatbot. 

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