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Amazon’s new AI chatbot generates answers, jokes, and Jeff Bezos style tips

Amazon’s new AI chatbot generates answers, jokes, and Jeff Bezos style tips


Asking for more information in Amazon’s app might pull up an AI-generated response.

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The Amazon logo over a black background with orange lines
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Amazon is testing a new AI feature in its mobile apps for iOS and Android that lets customers ask specific questions about products. The AI tool can help figure out exactly how big a new shelf is, determine how long a battery will last, or even... write you a Christmas carol about snow boots.

Yep, the new feature is meant for more practical applications, but it seems the tool will happily respond to more colorful queries, too, answering the same questions people occasionally ask AI chatbots when they’re bored.

Using the questions box on the product page (the box right before customer reviews), you can query Amazon’s AI tool about the product. Only some people have access to the feature right now, but some Verge staffers saw it on their apps and found it will respond to more creative prompts. It will write a joke about flash card readers, make a bedtime story about hard drives, and even describe snow boots in a flirty way.

Amazon AI query box writes a joke
Does this joke make you want to buy the item more?

What it won’t do is flirt with you. We tried to see how far the AI feature could go outside of its intended zone by prompting it to flirt with us directly instead of describing the product in that way. “I apologize but I do not have personal feelings or engage in flirtatious behavior,” Amazon’s AI tool responded.

Amazon told CNBC it is still testing out the feature. The outlet added that it cannot have conversations or answer questions unrelated to the product, which largely seems to be true. We tried asking the AI tool for a hummus recipe while on the snow boot product page, and it said there was no generative AI answer available. It will speculate if Amazon chair Jeff Bezos will wear the boots, but only if you ask in the context of the item.

Screenshot of Amazon’s AI feature
Jeff Bezos likely values functionality.

Amazon has been rolling out several AI features on its retail arm over the past few months. It now uses large language models to generate summaries of product reviews, detect fake reviews, and recommend clothing sizing options to customers.

The company has been working on generative AI, mainly through its enterprise cloud division, AWS. In November, AWS launched its Titan Image Generator, which lets companies use text-to-image prompts to generate pictures. It also offers enterprise customers access to other popular foundational AI models like Meta’s Llama 2, Anthropic’s Claude, and Stability AI’s Stable Diffusion.