Amazon unveils ‘Rufus’ AI shopping assistant, rolling out in coming weeks in mobile app – GeekWire

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Amazon is integrating an AI assistant called Rufus into its mobile shopping app.

The new generative AI feature, just announced, is based on a large language model trained on data including Amazon’s product catalog, customer reviews, community Q&As and information from the web, Amazon says. Rufus will answer questions about products, offer comparisons, and recommend products to buy.

Customers will access the new AI feature by typing or speaking into the existing mobile search bar. Amazon says Rufus will roll out in waves over the coming weeks, starting with “a small subset” of its U.S. customers.

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It’s part of a broader effort by Amazon to accelerate its AI initiatives, as e-commerce providers and tech companies race to integrate increasingly powerful forms of conversational AI into their online stores and services.

“Rufus” is a storied moniker at the company, as the name of the dog of Amazon’s editor-in-chief in the early days of the company, which also led Amazon to give the name to one of its Seattle office buildings.

The announcement of the new generative AI shopping assistant comes in advance of Amazon’s fourth-quarter earnings report, which is due out after the market closes at 1 p.m. Pacific time this afternoon.

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