Bethesda Macy’s to test artificial intelligence shopper’s app

WASHINGTON — Can Watson help you shop? IBM’s artificial intelligence platform will try, as part of a pilot program at a handful of Macy’s stores across the country, including Macy’s at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Maryland.

“Macy’s On Call” is a mobile web tool that lets customers interact with an artificial intelligence-powered platform via smartphones using the IBM Watson intelligent engagement platform.

It means customers can simply ask the app where something is or what’s in stock.

According to Macy’s, the system will evolve as it learns more about each store’s customers and the most frequently asked questions. It is available in both English and Spanish.

“Macy’s On Call” was created using IBM Watson by developer Satisfi.

“As more developer partners like Satisfi continue to build with the technology, we see Watson more frequently being delivered into the hands of consumers, and we’re looking forward to learning more from this pilot with Macy’s and Satisfi,” said David Kenny, general manager of IBM Watson.

Macy’s Westfield Montgomery location and four other stores across the country will serve as “base learning stores,” with the app offered only as a self-serve assistant for customers. At five other Macy’s locations, the pilot will also include the ability to ask to speak face-to-face with an actual employee.

You can access “Macy’s On Call” online.

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