- Walmart is using OpenAI’s GPT-4 to advance its conversational AI capabilities
- Generative AI could be as impactful as mobile technology on customer interactions
- Walmart is working on natural language understanding at scale for retail-specific applications
- The company has nearly two dozen conversational AI experiences, including a chatbot for customer care
- Generative AI offers potential for improved customer experiences and increased internal productivity
Walmart’s Generative AI Journey
As Walmart unveils a new look for its website and mobile app, the world’s largest retailer is also investing in conversational AI powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4. Desirée Gosby, vice president of emerging technology at Walmart Global Tech, believes that generative AI will be as transformative as mobile technology in shaping customer interactions.
Building on the world’s leading large language model, Walmart has integrated AI across multiple areas of its operations, from supply chain management and virtual shopping to search. The company is now focusing on improving its natural language understanding capabilities, such as its Text to Shop feature, which enables customers to add items to their cart by texting or speaking the product names.
Retail-Specific Natural Language Understanding
Walmart has been developing a platform for creating conversational experiences for the past five years. By building on top of large language models like GPT-4, the company aims to create retail-specific natural language understanding capabilities. Walmart’s platform currently supports nearly two dozen conversational AI experiences, including a chatbot used by one million associates for customer care.
The next step for Walmart is to move from task-based chatbots to problem-based chatbots that allow customers to express their needs in natural language. Gosby envisions a future where Walmart can leverage generative AI models to predict and meet customer needs.
The Multimodal Potential of Generative AI
Walmart doesn’t solely rely on GPT-4, as it also utilizes other large language models like Google’s BERT. The rapid pace of advancements in the AI field encourages the company to remain adaptable and open to new developments. Generative AI’s greatest innovation, according to Gosby, is its ability to provide a conversational experience for users.
Generative AI opens up a multitude of opportunities, from enhancing customer experiences to improving internal processes and productivity. For example, Walmart could use generative AI for imagery to create 3D product models, reducing manual effort. However, the company must also carefully navigate potential copyright issues.
Gosby is particularly excited about the multimodal potential of generative AI, which can combine text and imagery to create transformative experiences. Walmart is open to exploring all possibilities, including creating a ChatGPT plugin, as long as it benefits their customers and aligns with their needs.
Transforming Customer Interactions through AI
Walmart’s adoption of GPT-4 and its commitment to advancing conversational AI signal the potential for a revolution in customer interactions. By leveraging cutting-edge AI technology, the retail giant aims to create a seamless, personalized, and engaging experience for its customers. As the AI landscape continues to evolve, Walmart’s proactive approach positions the company at the forefront of innovative customer engagement.