Excerpt from The Business-Standard Article, Published on Apr 04, 2024

In a recent revelation, it has come to light that Amazon’s innovative “Just Walk Out” technology, designed to revolutionize the shopping experience, has been heavily reliant on the manual efforts of 1,000 Indian workers. This revelation, reported by Business Insider, has sparked debates regarding the extent of automation versus human involvement in the tech giant’s operations.

Contrary to Amazon’s claims that its “Just Walk Out” system is driven solely by computer vision, it has been revealed that a considerable portion of transactions—700 out of every 1,000—required manual verification by the Indian team. While Amazon initially downplayed the role of these workers, stating they were involved primarily in model training, the reality seems to be more hands-on. According to an Amazon spokesperson, the Indian team’s involvement is crucial in validating shopping visits where the computer vision technology falls short in determining individual purchases with complete confidence. This raises questions about the efficacy and reliability of Amazon’s touted technological advancements.

Interestingly, despite the reliance on manual labor, Amazon has announced plans to phase out the “Just Walk Out” technology in favor of its Dash Carts at Amazon Fresh stores. These smart shopping carts aim to provide customers with a seamless checkout experience by tracking and charging for their selections, thereby eliminating the need for cashier interaction. The decision to shift away from “Just Walk Out” comes amidst growing customer demands for enhanced features, such as easily locating products, accessing deals, viewing receipts while shopping, and tracking savings. This move underscores Amazon’s commitment to evolving its services in line with consumer preferences and technological advancements.

It’s worth noting that “Just Walk Out” technology first gained traction in Amazon Go convenience stores, where customers could enter using their Amazon accounts, select items, return them to shelves, and simply walk out without the hassle of traditional checkout processes. As Amazon navigates the complexities of blending automation with human intervention, the revelation of its reliance on Indian workers for its groundbreaking technology raises pertinent questions about the future trajectory of e-commerce and the role of labor in driving innovation.


To delve deeper into this topic, please read the full article on Business-Standard.