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BEHIND THE CURTAIN: Amazon’s “AI grocery store” is actually run by 1,000 Indian employees watching customers through video feeds
By Zoey Sky // Apr 10, 2024

When Amazon first pitched Amazon Go stores, consumers were impressed because the company promised a futuristic shopping experience where shoppers could simply grab what they needed and exit the store without having to check out. After all, that part of the shopping experience would be taken care of by artificial intelligence (AI).

However, Amazon recently canceled the cutting-edge AI tech called Just Walk Out, which was employing the skills of 1,000 Indian employees.

The Indian employees, who were probably low-paid, were allegedly sitting in an office and remotely monitoring what shoppers were adding to their baskets.

According to a report released early in April, Amazon is slowly phasing out its checkout-less grocery stores that use the Just Walk Out technology.

More than half of Amazon Fresh stores are equipped with Just Walk Out tech, which allows customers to skip the checkout process by scanning a QR code when they enter the store.

But while the technology seemed completely automated, Just Walk Out relied on more than 1,000 workers in India who were watching and labeling videos to ensure accurate checkouts.

In reality, the cashiers were moved off-site, and they watched people as they shopped. (Related: Amazon to begin testing Digit – a six-foot-tall humanoid robot that might end up REPLACING human warehouse workers.)

Amazon now focusing on Dash Carts after dropping Just Walk Out

A report released on April 3 revealed that Amazon Web Services is cutting several hundred jobs in its Physical Stores Technology team. The layoffs will allegedly impact part of the company's identity and checkout teams.

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After dropping Just Walk Out, Amazon is now focusing on Dash Carts, a scanner embedded in a shopping cart that allows customers to checkout as they shop.

The company claims that Dash Carts will offer a more reliable solution than Just Walk Out. Those who aren't Amazon members can also use self-checkout counters at Amazon Fresh stores moving forward.

An Amazon spokesperson explained that the company will be rolling out Amazon Dash Cart, the company's smart-shopping carts. Amazon confirmed that the feature will be replacing its Just Walk Out technology in existing stores.

Just Walk Out was first introduced in 2016, where it was touted as Amazon’s "biggest and boldest innovation in grocery shopping." While the technology seemed impressive, it faced several obstacles when put into action.

Customers who used Just Walk Out had to wait for several hours before receiving receipts after leaving the store, mostly because offshore cashiers were watching videos and assigning items to different customers. The system of scanners and video cameras used in each store is also very expensive.

Data showed that as of 2022, at least 700 out of 1,000 Just Walk Out sales required human reviewers. This meant Amazon missed it's internal goal of reaching less than 50 reviews per 1,000 sales.

Amazon is reportedly keeping Just Walk Out technology in a small number of Fresh stores in the U.K. and some of its Amazon Go convenience stores.

The company has also implemented Just Walk Out technology at several ballparks around the U.S., which will keep using the technology. These announcements suggest that Amazon is still trying to make its way to the top of the grocery space to cultivate another billion-dollar market.

Go to JeffBezosWatch.com for more updates about Amazon.

Watch this clip about Amazon Palm, the company's answer to Apple Pay's contactless payment system.

This video is from the Thrivetime Show channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

Amazon prepares army of 750,000 ROBOTS to eliminate HUMAN workers.

Amazon delivery drivers stage first-ever WALKOUT as part of strike.

Amazon selling hidden SPY CAMERAS disguised as home accessories.

Amazon is being sued for secretly collecting biometric data from NYC Amazon Go store customers.

Sources include:





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