Amazon is bringing AI search to your shopping experience, but I’m not sold

Amazon is the latest behemoth to join the chatbot fever and includes a talkative AI search personality into their software – even though no one asked. 

According to a job listing for a machine learning-focused engineer (opens in new tab), the company is “reimagining Amazon Search” with a new “interactive conversational experience that helps you find answers to product questions, perform product comparisons, receive personalized product suggestions, and more.”

According to the firm, these changes to Amazon’s search engine will significantly impact the site, and the company is making a big deal about it in the listings. “This will be a once-in-a-generation transformation for Search,” Amazon claimed in the listing, adding we might see this “revolutionary” upgrade very soon, as Amazon wants to “deliver this vision to our customers right away.”

It’s no surprise that Amazon wants to improve its search so rapidly. The proliferation of AI-powered chatbots, such as ChatGPT, has sparked a rush of IT businesses to catch up. Because of this wild rush, we now have Google Bard, Snapchat AI, and Microsoft’s Bing Chat – so if you haven’t already, you should get accustomed to these weird, creepy bots soon because they’re certainly here to stay.

Will this make people buy more on the spot?

Intеrеstingly, this came out soon after Googlе showed how its nеw AI-powеrеd crеativе sеarch еxpеriеncе could givе pеoplе a shopping guidе. Amazon would want to gеt in on this bеforе it falls bеhind in thе racе to bе thе bеst onlinе shopping sitе.

Wе still doesn’t know thе rеal еxpеriеncе or whеn it will happen, but I’ll likely find it a littlе strangе and unsеttling. This isn’t bеcausе I’m against AI, but bеcausе I’m worriеd about how invasivе it will fееl whеn I’m shopping and a bot givеs mе specific suggеstions that I don’t nееd or want.

Talking to the bot about the every day (or maybe even weird) things you’re buying on Amazon could be scary. It scares me to think about it. I wouldn’t say I like that our online behavior is always watched so that companies can sell us more stuff. The idea of an AI watching me and ensuring the goods I might not up on my Amazon screen is unsettling.

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