Amazon has unveiled its latest venture, an AI-powered shopping assistant named 'Rufus.' The announcement coincided with a surge in the company's stock prices following better-than-expected fourth-quarter results. The success was attributed to robust performance in Amazon's core business and a noticeable increase in advertising revenue. Additionally, Amazon Web Services experienced a 13% expansion in the quarter, aligning with predictions.
Described as an 'expert shopping assistant' in Amazon's press release, Rufus is an AI bot trained on Amazon's extensive product catalog and information gleaned from the web. Its primary function is to address customer inquiries regarding shopping needs, products, and comparisons. Rufus is designed to provide context-based recommendations and facilitate product discovery within the familiar Amazon shopping interface.
The initial rollout of Rufus is in beta mode, accessible to a select group of US customers as of Thursday, with plans to expand its availability in the coming weeks. Users can engage with Rufus directly within the Amazon mobile application, where it assists in product searches, comparisons, and offers personalized recommendations.
Amazon, headquartered in Seattle, is positioning Rufus as a tool to enhance the overall shopping experience for consumers. The AI assistant is expected to aid users in finding appropriately-sized clothing, provide summaries and highlights for product reviews, and introduce features beneficial to sellers.
The introduction of Rufus comes at a time when major tech players such as Meta, Alphabet, and Tesla are actively exploring and integrating AI technologies into their platforms. Amazon's goal with Rufus is to address customer needs more efficiently and create a seamless shopping journey. Users participating in the beta release can access Rufus by updating their Amazon app and inputting questions into the search bar, triggering the appearance of the Rufus chat dialog box at the bottom of the screen.