Amazon are working on a new AI-first initiative to re-architect and reinvent the way that they do search through the use of extremely large scale next-generation deep learning techniques. Amazon generative AI is essentially bringing Chat-GPT style technology to Amazon search, mirroring efforts by Google, Microsoft et al.
Generative AI is a massive project – the Amazon product search engine is one of the most heavily used services in the world, indexes billions of products, and serves hundreds of millions of customers world-wide. Amazon aim to use the conversational capabilities of large language models to improve customer experiences and ultimately sell more product for their partners and delight consumers even more than they already do.
This is early days and Amazon are recruiting for talent in advanced Machine Learning and over the next few years aiming to transfer their knowledge of the customer to every language and every locale. Amazon Jobs currently carries two vacancies – for a Senior Technical Program Manager and looking for a Senior Software Development Engineer, in Machine Learning for Amazon Search.
It’s worth noting that Amazon AWS already has Amazon Bedrock touted as the easiest way to build and scale generative AI applications with foundation models, which as well as text generation and chatbots offers the ability to “search, find, and synthesize information to answer questions from a large corpus of data“.
It would be wrong to think that Amazon are new to Generative AI – AI and ML have been a focus for Amazon for over 20 years, and many of the capabilities customers use with Amazon are driven by ML such as their recommendations engine. But Generative AI is the next level and moves away from typing in a few words, scanning a bar code, or taking an image of a product to find similar items for sale. Generative AI should enable a more conversational type of search so while the initial search term may be entered in an Alexa style voice command or typed entry, refining the search results is what this is all about rather than simply presenting a list and leaving the poor consumer to scroll through hoping they’ve found the product they want or going back to the start trying to guess more appropriate keywords.