Report Reveals Amazon’s ‘Just Walk Out’ Grocery Checkouts, Initially Touted as AI-Powered, Actually Depended on 1,000 People in India Acting as Virtual Cashiers

Amazon’s Cashier-Less Technology Not As Advanced As Initially Thought: Relying on Human Intervention and Shifting Focus to Traditional Self-Checkout Methods

In recent news, it has been reported that Amazon.com Inc.’s AMZN “Just Walk Out” technology did not rely on artificial intelligence as previously believed. Instead, the technology relied on 1,000 contractors in India who acted as virtual cashiers, using cameras and sensors to track customer purchases. Despite initial excitement around the cashier-less technology, it required human intervention for 7 out of 10 sales, making it more costly than traditional self-checkout methods.

In response to these challenges, Amazon is shifting its focus to “Dash Carts” and traditional self-checkout counters. The Dash Carts are equipped with scanners and screens, allowing customers to check out as they shop. These changes are being implemented in existing Amazon Fresh stores. The decision to move away from the Just Walk Out technology comes after Amazon introduced it to the clothing retail sector in 2023, signaling the company’s interest in expanding cashier-less shopping beyond convenience and grocery stores. However, the technology did not meet Amazon’s targets and relied heavily on human monitoring, making it less efficient and cost-effective than anticipated.

This news has caused Amazon’s stock to close slightly lower on Tuesday. It serves as a reminder that innovations in retail technology are not always as seamless as they may seem, and companies must be prepared for potential challenges that arise when implementing new technologies. Subscribe to the Benzinga Tech Trends newsletter for the latest developments in technology and retail.

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