Ever have questions about a product you see at Amazon that aren’t addressed or easily found in the description or customer reviews? Well, now Amazon is tapping into AI to try to respond to your burning and even offbeat queries. Currently available for testing in Amazon’s iOS and Android shopping apps, a new generative AI bot aims to provide you with the answers you seek.
To try this out, make sure you’re running the latest version of the Amazon Shopping app on your iPhone or Android device. Select a product that interests you. Swipe down the product’s page until you see a section that says: “Looking for specific info.” (You’ll find this section just above the customer reviews.) In the field for “Ask about this product,” type your question, or speak it using the microphone icon on the keyboard.
You can start by asking the usual types of questions. Maybe you’re ogling a tempting box of chocolate candy but have to know how much saturated fat it contains. Maybe you’re checking out a new laptop and need to find out how long the battery lasts. Or maybe you’re looking at a package of toilet paper and want to learn how soft it feels against your buttocks.
I tried each of those questions, and the AI supplied me with the right information.
But you can also get playful with the AI. Ask it to compose a song, tell a joke, or create a poem about a product. I asked it to write a song about ice melt, a joke about a men’s beanie hat, and a poem about an Amazon Echo. As expected, the results didn’t tell me much about the products but did show some AI-driven imagination.
You can’t engage the chatbot in a back-and-forth conversation as you can with other AI tools. Rather, the goal is to ask specific questions to save time when you’re shopping. Instead of hunting through lengthy product descriptions and hundreds of customer reviews, you can cut to the chase by asking about the product features that most concern and interest you.
The new AI is still in the testing phase, according to Amazon.
Also: The best AI chatbots: ChatGPT and other noteworthy alternatives
“We’re constantly inventing to help make customers’ lives better and easier, and are currently testing a new feature powered by generative AI to improve shopping on Amazon by helping customers get answers to commonly asked product questions,” Amazon spokesperson Maria Boschetti said in an email sent to ZDNET.
This isn’t the first generative AI feature that Amazon has added to its shopping apps. Last August, the retail giant unveiled a review summary that uses AI to analyze customer reviews and serve up a short paragraph summarizing the overall sentiment. The summary also highlights specific product attributes, such as “ease of use” or “reliability” to display excerpts of reviews mentioning that factor.