E-commerce behemoth Amazon is likely to join the AI race and jump on the chatbot wagon. According to a pair of job listings — first spotted by Bloomberg – the company has an ambitious plan to introduce ChatGPT-style product search to its web store, thus posing a direct challenge to tech rivals Microsoft Corp. and Google. By incorporating generative artificial intelligence (AI) into its search engine, it is likely that Amazon aims to enhance the user experience and deliver more accurate and personalized product recommendations.

The move by Amazon comes as part of the ongoing AI race among tech giants, with companies vying to leverage the power of AI to improve their services. With ChatGPT, a cutting-edge language model developed by OpenAI, Amazon aims to revolutionize the way users search for products and discover relevant recommendations. According to Bloomberg, Amazon has posted job listings where it talks about how it 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 so much more,” so that users can seamlessly find the “perfect product” for their needs.

The job listings include a position for a Senior Technical Program Manager at the company, wherein applicants need to have at least seven years of experience working directly with engineering teams. Their compensation ranges between $119,000-231,400 annually, depending on their locations.
The second listing is for a “Sr SDE, Machine Learning (ML), Amazon Search,” wherein Amazon is willing to pay $134,500-261,500 per year.

Keri Bertolino, a spokesperson for Amazon, declined to comment on the job listings. “We are significantly investing in generative AI across all of our businesses,” she said in an email. “This will be a once in a generation transformation for Search, just like the Mosaic browser made the Internet easier to engage with 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,” Amazon wrote in the job listing.

The introduction of ChatGPT-style AI in Amazon’s web store holds great potential. So far, Amazon’s current search interface relies on keywords and filters to help customers find what they are looking for. The addition of ChatGPT-style AI is expected to enable users to have more natural and conversational interactions with the search engine, simulating a human-like conversation that assists in finding the desired products. By understanding users’ queries and preferences more effectively, Amazon strives to provide personalized and tailored recommendations, enhancing the overall shopping experience.

The integration of AI in product search brings forth several potential benefits. It can help users save time and effort by offering relevant suggestions and filtering out less-relevant results. Additionally, AI-powered product search has the potential to uncover hidden gems and introduce users to new products they might have otherwise missed, leading to increased customer satisfaction and potentially boosting sales for sellers.

This bold move by Amazon puts it in direct competition with Microsoft and Google, both of which have been working on incorporating generative AI into their search engines. Microsoft began it in the wake of the popularity of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, incorporating generative AI to Bing, Edge, and other services, and even rolling out an AI chatbot called Bing Chat. Google is not staying behind either, and is turning to AI to revamp its search engine and maintain its dominance in the search engine sector. Currently, it aims to integrate conversations with AI into its search results in order to make search more “visual, snackable, personal and human.”

The race to harness the power of AI in product search is driven by the desire to deliver more accurate results and capture the attention of customers in an increasingly competitive e-commerce landscape. As Amazon sets its sights on incorporating ChatGPT-style AI into its web store, it will be interesting to witness the impact of this technology on the e-commerce industry. The battle among Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and others to leverage AI in product search signifies the growing significance of AI in shaping the future of online shopping and underscores the immense potential it holds to enhance user experiences.