Meet Rufus: Amazon launches an AI chatbot to help shoppers

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Amazon Rufus

An example of a conversation 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 built specifically for its customers.

Rufus works a lot like ChatGPT. AI-enabled technology is capable of 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 a shopping assistant, trained on Amazon’s product catalog, customer reviews, Q&As and information found online.

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Using Rufus, customers can narrow searches using specific terms that match their situation, but this doesn’t always appear in the filter menu when combing over search results. Rufus can answer questions in the same way as ChatGPT, Copilot, and Bard. For example, customers can ask Rufus, ‘What should I consider if I want to start an indoor herb garden?’ or ‘What should I consider when buying a USB-C cable?’

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

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

Amazon is gradually adding AI features to its shopping platform, including AI-generated review highlights, fit review highlights for personal size guidance, and AI support for sellers to create attractive product listings.

Amazon hopes that integrating generative AI into its shopping experience will improve the decision-making process and increase customer trust. 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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