On Wednesday, Amazon revealed a forthcoming addition to its Echo smart speaker: “Echo Look,” which will take pictures and videos of your outfit to tell you whether or not it looks good. It “combines machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists” to evaluate your clothes.
Inverse reached out to Amazon for comment on who exactly these fashion specialists are, and how they became qualified, in Amazon’s eyes, to make these judgments about users’ clothing choices. They responded:
“Our fashion specialists have varied backgrounds in the fashion, retail, editorial, styling and creative fields and are trained to evaluate outfits based on elements including fit, color, styling, season and current trends.”
While this isn’t extremely specific, the addition of “creative fields” is interesting. (Amazon wouldn’t make any fashion specialists available.) This suggests that the people helping to evaluate your outfits won’t just be folks who work in the fashion industry, but could also be, for example, artists, journalists, musicians, and advertisers.
If Amazon is using advertisers to create this “Style Check” feature, it means that Echo Look could be getting paid to tell you that you look good in its sponsors’ products.
It’s also important to remember that Amazon sells clothes, too, and could easily tailor feedback to its own fashion products. Read about that and more in our initial comments on the Echo Look.
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