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Walmart and Microsoft Collaborate to Introduce More Intelligent AI Search for Shoppers. |2024|

Microsoft and Walmart’s latest invention has resulted in smarter, more tailored search results.

Microsoft and Walmart have just announced a major improvement in the digital shopping experience through new generative-AI search capabilities.

The new capabilities will present consumers with a curated list of tailored items using a combination of Walmart proprietary data and technology, as well as huge language models, in order to provide useful, intuitive browsing.

This idea appears to build on Walmart’s $82 billion in e-commerce sales last year.

This announcement comes just as we released our 2024 AI-trend forecasts, which show that AI assistants would become more powerful in the next year, with “get things done” skills.

What is the Functionality of AI-Based Browsing?

Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon, along with Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella, announced the invention during this year’s CES event.

The AI-powered search tool was developed specifically for Walmart and will comprehend the context of a customer’s query in order to deliver personalized results.

In a Microsoft blog article announcing the technology, a parent may simply enter “Help me plan a unicorn-themed birthday party for my daughter”. This would return search results for relevant things such as unicorn-themed balloons, napkins, and streamers, saving the user from having to conduct multiple searches.

The AI search tool aims to provide customers with a more engaging and conversational experience, and it will be available on iOS, Android, and Walmart’s website.

Walmart and Microsoft Collaborate to Introduce More Intelligent AI Search for Shoppers. |2024|

Not Walmart’s Inaugural AI Experience

While this is Walmart’s first customer-facing AI-powered product, the retailer has already dabbled in generative AI capabilities.

In a blog post last year, Walmart Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer Donna Morris announced the debut of My Assistant, a new generative-AI driven service, to all 50,000 non-store associates in the United States. 

The desktop and mobile app was created to assist speed up document drafting, summarize massive documents, and serve as a creative collaborator in “a highly personalized and intuitive format”.

The program, created and built by Walmart and employing LLMs in Azure OpenAI Service, appears to have paved the way for future AI advancements, according to Morris. 

The potential of Gen-AI is extensive, particularly in enhancing not just our staff’s experience but also in fostering personalized engagements with customers and members.

The Newest Development in the Microsoft Collaboration

Microsoft and Walmart formed a relationship in 2018 and have been working on a number of cloud-based initiatives together. 

Walmart adopted Horizon Cloud on Azure for its 32 health clinics, ensuring that any additional locations in the United States have access to electronic health records. Similarly, the retailer’s finance department opted for an agile reporting and analytics system built with Microsoft Power BI.

When you combine this extensive collaboration history with Walmart’s drive for additional AI-powered solutions, it’s evident that the recently announced generative-AI search tool is just the beginning of further consumer-facing breakthroughs.

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