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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

In response to challenges faced by its “Just Walk Out” technology, 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. Despite the 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.

This 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. The technology did not meet Amazon’s targets and relied heavily on human monitoring, making it less efficient and cost-effective than anticipated.

According to a report from The Information, Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” technology actually relied on 1,000 contractors in India who acted as virtual cashiers, rather than artificial intelligence as previously believed. The technology used cameras and sensors to track customer purchases, but it was not fully automated as initially thought.

The revelation that the Just Walk Out technology was not as automated as previously believed has raised questions about the role of human intervention in retail technology. Despite this setback, Amazon remains committed to exploring new ways of revolutionizing the retail industry through innovation and technological advancements.

Subscribe to the Benzinga Tech Trends newsletter for updates on these developments and more information about how retailers are adapting to changing consumer behavior through innovative solutions like Just Walk Out technology.

By Samantha Jones

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