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

The initial excitement around Amazon’s cashier-less technology, “Just Walk Out,” was tempered when it was discovered that the technology relied on human contractors in India to act as virtual cashiers rather than artificial intelligence. According to a report from The Information, the technology used cameras and sensors to track customer purchases, but it was not fully automated as previously thought.

In response to challenges faced by the Just Walk Out technology, Amazon is shifting its focus to “Dash Carts” and traditional self-checkout counters. These changes are being implemented in existing Amazon Fresh stores. Despite initial excitement about cashier-less shopping, the technology 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. However, the technology did not meet Amazon’s targets and relied heavily on human monitoring, making it less efficient and cost-effective than anticipated.

The news of this revelation caused Amazon’s stock to close slightly lower on Tuesday. It shows that innovations in retail technology are not always as seamless as they may seem. To stay up-to-date with the latest developments in technology and retail, subscribe to the Benzinga Tech Trends newsletter today.

By Samantha Johnson

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