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Report: Amazon’s ‘Just Walk Out’ Grocery Checkouts, Previously Touted as AI-Powered, Depended on 1,000 Individuals in India as Virtual Cashiers

Byeditor

Apr 3, 2024

Amazon.com Inc.’s AMZN “Just Walk Out” technology reportedly employed 1,000 contractors in India to serve as virtual cashiers. According to reports from The Information, Amazon’s technology, which used cameras and sensors to track customer purchases, was powered by humans rather than artificial intelligence. Amazon has not yet responded to requests for comment on this matter.

In response to this revelation, Amazon is shifting its focus to “Dash Carts” and traditional self-checkout counters. The Dash Carts are equipped with a scanner and screen to allow customers to check out as they shop, and this change is being implemented in existing Amazon Fresh stores. Despite the initial excitement surrounding the Just Walk Out technology, it faced challenges and relied on off-site contractors in India to monitor and label videos for accurate checkouts.

This decision to move away from the Just Walk Out technology comes after the system failed to meet Amazon’s targets, with 7 out of 10 sales requiring human intervention. This ultimately proved more costly than traditional self-checkout methods. Amazon’s stock closed slightly lower on Tuesday at $180.69.

Amazon’s ambitious plans to expand cashier-less shopping technology beyond convenience and grocery stores were evident when the Just Walk Out technology entered the clothing retail sector in 2023. The company’s decision to focus on Dash Carts and traditional self-checkout counters reflects a shift in strategy in light of the challenges faced by the Just Walk Out technology.

In conclusion, Amazon’s use of human-powered technology in its Just Walk Out system highlights the complexities and costs associated with cashier-less shopping. As the company navigates this transition and refocuses its efforts on other technologies, it remains to be seen how these changes will impact the retail landscape.

By editor

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