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Amazon’s new secret ‘Project Nile’ brings AI-powered Shopping to the platform

Amazon is working on a big makeover AI project called “Project Nile”, that deploys generative-AI throughout its app and website.

The onset of generative-AI enhanced the way in which customers interact with apps and platforms, besides generating content for users. As every company determines to serve the best to consumers, AI is now considered the hot trending tech with huge potential to be deployed into business. Amazon in that aspect, wants to overhaul its search experience with AI-powered chat features that will change the way users shop online.

Amazon’s senior executives including CEO Andy Jassy are backing up this AI-project and wants it to be highly confidential until its release.

Project Nile – AI-powered Shopping

Amazon has been investing into machine learning and AI, using it for more than 25 years in virtually everything it does. Taking this to the next level, the firm now invests hefty in generative-AI and this will be a complete makeover for Amazon, as it would enhance the user-interface with AI.

Codenamed as “Project Nile”, the initiative aims to add a layer of artificial intelligence on top of the existing search bar on Amazon. This enables for instant product comparisons in the search-results, requests for more details and reviews, as well as recommendations based on search context and personal shopping data.

Apart from this, it also aims for a conversational chatbot that understands users’ choices and wants, enabling for a more personalized shopping experience, like a personal shopping assistant. A glimpse of Project Nile was presented to Amazon employees at an internal town hall meeting, titled, “Reinventing Amazon Shopping with LLMs,” held earlier this year. VP of Amazon Search and Alexa Shopping, Joseph Sirosh introduced Project Nile as a “super confidential” project, describing it as “AI transforming shopping”.

“Project Nile is a confidential initiative wherein we’re building a conversational shopping agent for Retail customers,” one internal document of Amazon explained, as viewed by Insider.

How Project Nile will transform shopping?

AI shopping in Amazon

Similar to other generative AI platforms such as Bard and ChatGPT, being powered by LLMs, Project Nile too will be instigated by a large language model, not one but multiple models. Large language models (LLMs) are the brain behind generative-AI, which runs on a complex network of language and input data.

In the case of Project Nile, it will help in providing simplified yet effective search results, expert answers for choices to go with – product suggestions, and comparisons of products.

For example, if a shopper asks Amazon’s new search bar, “What kind of coffee maker should I get?” it will give multiple options for a drip, pod, or espresso coffee machine, eliminating the need to visit each product page one at a time. If the shopper follows up by asking for the best pod machines, it will show the top choices based on different metrics, like the number of positive reviews.

The shopper can then compare other features, like brew times or cup sizes, or ask for more details about specific products, such as Keurig pods. The AI can also read through detailed reviews and make decisions out of it in seconds, providing you summarized reviews to get a picture of the product quality and more. Personalized recommendations, based on individual order history and wish lists, will be another thing, AI-powered Amazon will be doing in future.

Amazon’s Business out of this Project

Generative-AI is expected to add more value to e-commerce like Amazon, driving more sales than the usual. By making the app and website inclusive and personalized for the users using AI, Amazon aims to expand their sales to multifold, especially via its mobile app.

Project Nile is likely to be rolled out to Amazon’s mobile app first because mobile search has a lower conversion to purchases than the desktop website, even though it constitutes nearly 80% of searches on amazon.

“If we can increase the conversion on mobile, because we provide great experiences, great expert answers, then that could be a potentially significant lift to Amazon,” Sirosh said.

Project Nile, though it was first planned to launch at September this year, it got postponed to January 2024 and is one of the most important projects and of absolute top priority, Sirosh told.

Amazon may also seek help from third-party providers. It is considering using ChatGPT to provide answers for the more sensitive questions, while it may potentially partner other AI companies too, like YouChat, for more data support, according to Insider.

Generative AI will transform the shopping based on your preferences and tastes, bringing you what you like the most in the front, thus driving up the sales for them and driving down your account balance probably.

(For more such interesting informational, technology and innovation stuffs, keep reading The Inner Detail).

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