Amazon seems ready to jump on the generative AI bandwagon with a new project that will involve a “once-in-a-generation transformation for search,” according to a job posting discovered by Bloomberg on Monday.
The listnow removed by Amazon but accessible via a web-based archive, it’s for a senior software development engineer and says, “We’re reinventing Amazon Search with an interactive conversational experience that helps you find answers to product questions, make product comparisons, receive personalized product suggestions and much more, to easily find the perfect product for your needs.”
The conversational element sounds very similar to the new wave of AI chatbots led by OpenAI, backed by Microsoft, whose tool ChatGPT went viral shortly after its release in November. ChatGPT and similar chatbots like Google’s Bard can converse in a very human way, and elements of each are being integrated into Microsoft’s Bing search engine and Google’s own search tool.
He also makes it clear that the company is willing to proceed with the work as soon as possible, saying that it needs someone “to help us realize and deliver this vision to our clients immediately.”
Base salary for the position ranges from $136,000 per year to $260,000 per year, depending on the location of the successful applicant and the skills they bring to the job, Amazon said.
Another list, which at the time of writing this article remains in the website from Amazon, it’s for a senior technical program manager who will work on what Amazon describes as an “AI-first initiative to redesign and reinvent the way we search by using next-generation deep learning techniques at scale.” This position pays between $119,000 and $231,400 per year.
Amazon notes in this list that its product search engine is “one of the most widely used services in the world, indexing billions of products and serving hundreds of millions of customers around the world,” so any changes that bring to search will have a huge impact on the use of your site.
At this stage, however, it is difficult to say precisely how it will affect buying habits. But if, for example, the search experience feels more like a conversation and encourages online shoppers to avoid trawling through endless return lists, it could mean fewer products are viewed, giving the algorithm more power than ever before. Amazon and the results it provides. That doesn’t sound like great news for sellers desperate to see their wares, although it could result in a more efficient online shopping experience for customers.