Amazon launches Rufus, an AI shopping assistant

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Amazon has announced Rufus, an AI shopping assistant that’s like a helpful buddy for online shopping. Right now, it’s in the beta phase and available exclusively to a select group of users in the US. Once it becomes available for everyone, you can talk to Rufus through the Amazon app on your phone, asking it questions about products, looking for comparisons, or even asking for advice on what to buy. Fun fact: The name “Rufus” pays homage to the company’s “shortest volunteer worker.”

Amazon Rufus could change the way we shop online

You may wonder what Amazon’s Rufus is all about. Well, it’s trained on the Amazon catalog and also the information available online. It’s like other AI chatbots but acts as a smart shopping assistant. For example, if you’re searching for a gift, just ask, “Can you recommend birthday gift ideas for my partner?” and it will understand. Besides suggestions, it can also explain product differences. Amazon provided an example: “What are the differences between trail and road running shoes?” It leverages a specialized Large Language Model (LLM), according to Stork.

Additionally, the more people talk to Rufus, the smarter it gets. It’s the same way how an AI model operates, but Amazon may have a better explanation. It says that Rufus is learning from everyone’s questions to be even better at helping out. It adds to Amazon’s big plan to use smart technology in other ways to make things easier for everyone.

There’s still some time

As we mentioned before, Amazon’s latest Rufus chatbot is not available to everyone, even in the US. It’s available only to a bunch of early testers, but it’s expected to roll out in the coming weeks.

Once it rolls out to more people, you can access it using the Amazon app. It pops up at the bottom of your screen. You could make it bigger if you want more details or just keep it small for a quick answer.

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