Amazon Job Listings Hints at ChatGPT-Like Conversational AI for Online Store

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Amazon, the online retail giant, has long been silent on its plans for conversational artificial intelligence, even as rivals Google and Microsoft are making leaps and bounds in developing and deploying chatbots that can interact with users and respond to questions. your queries.

But a new pair of job ads may have offered a glimpse into Amazon’s ambitions. Job offers, which were first discovered and reported by Bloombergdescribed a new search feature for Amazon’s web store that would feature a chat interface powered by technology similar to ChatGPT, one of the world’s leading natural language AI systems.

The job postings suggest that Amazon is looking for engineers who can help create “an interactive conversational experience” that allows customers to ask questions about products, compare products, receive personalized suggestions and more.

The posts also liken the project to a “unique transformation in the search of a generation,” similar to how the Mosaic browser revolutionized the Internet in the 1990s.


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Here’s the full rundown of the now-deleted work list:

“We’re reinventing Amazon Search with an interactive chat experience that helps you find answers to product questions, make product comparisons, get personalized product suggestions and more, so you can easily find the perfect product for your needs. We are looking for the best and brightest at Amazon to help us realize and deliver this vision to our customers immediately. This will be a unique transformation in the search of a generation, just as the Mosaic browser made the Internet easier to use three decades ago. If you missed the 90s, WWW, Mosaic, and the founding of Amazon and Google, you don’t want to miss this opportunity.”

A new shopping experience on Amazon

The project, if it comes to fruition, would mark a significant departure from Amazon’s current search interface, which relies on keywords and filters to help customers find what they’re looking for. It would also put Amazon in more direct competition with other tech giants that have invested heavily in conversational AI, such as Google, Meta and Microsoft.

When asked for comment, an Amazon spokesperson told VentureBeat: “We are investing significantly in generative AI across all of our businesses.” The company did not provide additional details about its job postings or its conversational AI strategy.

Amazon, however, has shown signs of interest in recent months. In October, it announced Bedrock, a cloud-based platform that allows developers to build and scale chatbots and other applications using large language models. Amazon also introduced two new proprietary language models, called Titan, which it said were trained on billions of words from books, news articles and other sources. The announcements show that the company is making an effort to keep up with other tech conglomerates in the field.

Amazon was once considered a pioneer in the field of conversational AI when it launched one of the first mainstream AI assistants, Alexa, which launched in 2014 and quickly became a popular feature in millions of homes and devices. Although Amazon Alexa never quite caught on to the success of text-based solutions like ChatGPT, the company reported as of January 2019, it had sold more than 100 million Alexa devices.

Although enthusiasm for Alexa devices has waned, many similar capabilities are now used in text-based chats. Microsoft’s Bing Chat, for example, is a conversational artificial intelligence tool that allows users to purchase products or services through text-based conversations. Bing Chat can display options, compare prices, and even generate ads based on user queries. Google, Meta, and others have also been experimenting with conversational AI in various domains.

However, Amazon’s advantage may lie in its vast collection of user data and e-commerce expertise. Amazon has published several research papers on conversational search, including one on ConvSearch, a data set of more than 10,000 dialogues collected from real users on various topics and domains. The work, presented at the COW 2021 conference, shows how ConvSearch can be used to analyze and model user behaviors and preferences in conversational search scenarios.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy also hinted at the potential of conversational search in the company’s latest report. earnings call. He said that large language models and generative AI capabilities have improved significantly in the past year, opening up new possibilities to transform customer experiences. “They’ve been around for a while, but frankly the models weren’t that compelling before about 6-9 months ago,” she said. “And they’ve gotten so much bigger and so much better, so much faster that it really presents a remarkable opportunity to transform virtually every customer experience that exists and many that don’t exist that weren’t so easily possible before.”

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