Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, is the wealthiest person in the world. Was it DI (Divine Intervention) or how Amazon uses AI (Artificial
Intelligence Intervention) to drive its sales to stratospheric levels?
That Amazon uses AI to drive sales is no secret. What that AI is and does is a very well-kept secret. So much so that Jeff would have to kill you if he told you. It is the secret sauce of the behemoth’s business with the smiley face logo.
Let’s put it simply. Amazon uses AI on your data to decide what to sell. It then orders those goods (or decides to make a house brand). AI then decides which distribution warehouses should get what on what it thinks will sell and where. It then laser focuses advertising to you to sell those goods. And the rinse-and-repeat cycle begins.
It is fair that Amazon knows more about you than your mum? Amazon has gigabytes of highly personally identifiable information (PII) on you. It seems that users are all too happy to give that over in return for ‘perceived’ benefits. All that does is give it more ammunition to sell to you.
Bernie Brode continues his series on how Big Tech uses AI to dominate the world. Bernie is a US expert on AI. He has spent a lifetime delving into the inner workings of cryptography. Now the confluence of nanotechnology and artificial intelligence. He is eternally curious about where that ‘intersection’ will lead us.
BTW – his first article How Facebook uses AI to manipulate you shot to the top of our weekend reading charts. He writes:
How Amazon uses AI to drive sales, well everything
Let’s start with a simple explanation of AI. It is a computer algorithm to make decisions or draw conclusions that mimic what a human could do. Only a hell of a lot faster and with Everest’s of data.
Its basis is in machine learning – giving a computer a problem and basic instruction on how to solve it. By sheer processing speed, it arrives faster at the right answer. And its gets better as it processes more data.
A decade ago, Amazon had a problem. It was severely lagging behind Big Tech when it came to AI.
Why? It was fairly late to the AI party. Its roots as an online book and later general consumer goods retailer meant it was focusing on ERP. Enterprise resource planning means getting its back-of-house systems in order. Simply put if you order something the very process-driven ERP system should work flawlessly.
At that time, visionaries at Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft were well ahead. They had grander visions of AI and what it could do for humanity. Three were focusing on AI and operating systems. Facebook – well it has always focused on extracting and selling your data to make money.
Bezos began to focus on how to use AI to extract more sales and turn customers into clients. Note the term clients infers an ongoing relationship – not a one-off encounter. And that is what happens when you go down the Amazon rabbit-hole. Amazon gradually learnt to love and trust AI’s answers.
Today the company is a world leader in deploying AI, machine learning, and deep learning in the consumer space.
Amazon AI is smarter than us – Houston we have a problem
Joe and Jane Average don’t sit over the breakfast table, contemplating how AI is influencing pretty well everything they do. They don’t equate why Jane’s new Facebook photo of puppy ‘Fluffy” starts an advertising tsunami for pet grooming and pet bling.
Joe, on the other hand, gets messages about pet care, insurance, pet food and meds. And their friends start getting subtle pressure to buy Fluffy a gift.