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Amazon is using generative AI to reduce damaged and incorrect deliveries

What just happened? For most people, generative AI tools aren’t as useful as companies like to claim. But one of the ways Amazon is using the technology is something that could benefit a lot of people: scanning deliveries to ensure they are correct and undamaged.

Most of us have at some point received an item from Amazon that is either not what was ordered or damaged. To try to address the problem, the company is using an AI model named “Project P.I.,” which stands for private investigator.

Project P.I. uses a combination of generative AI and computer vision to uncover defects in products or issues like the wrong color or size. This happens at the fulfillment center before packages reach customers.

Amazon writes that at sites where the system is available, Project P.I. has proven adept at identifying issues as goods pass through the company’s imaging tunnels, where items are scanned. Anything highlighted as damaged is then assessed by Amazon workers to determine if it can be sold for a discount on the Second Chance platform, donated, or another use can be found for it. Amazon will also investigate to ensure this isn’t a wider issue affecting similar items.

The technology isn’t just designed to ensure customer satisfaction; Amazon says it’s also important for the planet. A customer who receives a damaged or incorrect item is going to want to return it, which means extra transportation and other steps that result in more carbon emissions. There’s also the added problem of wasted packaging.

Also read: As cloud computing evolves, Amazon’s AWS looks for its role in generative AI

Amazon is also using a Multi-Modal LLM to understand how the issue occurred in the first place and ways to prevent it. The system reviews customer feedback and analyzes images taken from Project P.I. to confirm what led to the problem. The company wants to use the tech to help its independent selling partners send out fewer damaged/wrong items, reducing the overall number of returns.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said in April that the tech giant was going all-in on generative AI, saying that the tech could be as big as the cloud and even the internet itself. We might see an example of this if reports that a gen AI-powered, subscription-based Alexa will launch this year prove true.

In related news, Amazon just unveiled some generative AI smarts for its Fire TV, including letting users summon AI-generated artwork just by asking Alexa to “create an image.”

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