Walmart may soon set you up with your own shopping assistant – powered by artificial intelligence.
The company is testing an AI system that will help customers plan birthday parties and pick out home decor, according to a Walmart spokesperson. The feature will advise customers to decide between products by offering comparative specs and providing recommendations based on a customer’s needs.
It’s just the latest attempt by Walmart to incorporate AI into its business. It rolled out chatbots in 2020 to help customers connect with service reps and place orders via text message. In August, the company launched an AI app, “My Assistant,” to 50,000 non-store employees to streamline their operations and cut back on tedious tasks.
Walmart can implement generative AI technology into its operations in several ways. Walmart said it is keeping its options open when experimenting with AI. The retail giant is searching for tech companies developing AI that best aligns with its needs while remaining cost-effective.
“Given the rapid emergence of GenAI, there continues to be heightened debate about AI and automation, as well as its impact on the future of work,” said Donna Morris, executive vice president and chief people officer at Walmart. “Here’s our belief: It will take both people and technology to deliver on our purpose to help people save money and live better.”
The notion of generative AI systems blew up this year with ChatGPT going mainstream and showing people what they’re capable of doing. Since then, Big Tech companies have invested heavily in developing their own AI systems and other companies are racing to incorporate AI into their services and products.
Walmart has been using a system using GenAI to help scale the number of 3D digital images from still photos. The technology enables customers to use the Walmart app to try out clothes on virtual models. The same feature lets customers scan their rooms to see how new furniture and electronics, like televisions, will look in their homes.