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AI Tailors: Chatbots become virtual stylist to dress you like movie stars


For many in the humble 90s in India there would be a fixed market, shop or even a ‘family tailor’ who were the go-to places for buying garments. Choices were stacked in the racks and parents typically were the biggest decision makers for getting the 90s kids their clothes. Glitzy stores at malls overpowered those local stand-alone shops gradually after the turn of the century and decisions also depended on the mirror tricks in the trial rooms.

But now, it isn’t the human choices alone that is deciding what, why, where and how to wear garments. Virtual online shopping, in-store assistants and in-house data analysis combine to make the choice for those 90s kids, or whom we know as the millennials now. While e-tailers became the latest vogue, the paradox of plenty did take over shoppers, who were not restricting the purchases for festivals or specific occasions anymore.

This is where generative AI comes to play.

AI’s uses are vast, ranging from cracking critical missions to using deepfakes for scamming people, or even raising the dead’s digital versions as seen in China. But that’s another story.

Fashion brands are increasingly using generative AI, giving the perfect fit to vague ideas of what one wants to wear. Calling it a ‘game changer’ McKinsey in a report had predicted generative AI could add $150 billion, conservatively, and up to $275 billion to the apparel, fashion and luxury sectors’ operating profits over the next three-to-five years.

What the tech’s latest revolution does is it helps users search for products very differently than a traditional search engine would work for providing information.Chatbots on e-tailers convert an abstract user query into actionable results. Usually, when you search for something online, it’s best to use specific words like “blue t-shirt from a certain brand.” But, the chatbot on Myntra for instance does more than just regular searching. It uses smart AI to understand broader questions. For example, if you ask for a movie star’s outfit, it tries to find something similar. Or if you want clothes for the gym, it helps you find things like sweat-wicking jerseys, snug t-shirts, comfy track pants that let you move freely, shoes to help you run better, fitness bands, and other items that you might not have known you needed when starting out.“This is big,” said Arit Mondal, director of product management at Myntra, “Why? Because, this is the first time we have a solution, which is solving the unsolved ‘search’ problem in the fashion, beauty and lifestyle industry. And it’s live for customers at scale.”

Earlier this year, Myntra had a hackathon where some engineers from the company’s search team used a service called Azure OpenAI to solve a tricky problem – they wanted to change how people search for things online, not just using specific words.

They found that ChatGPT, the smart AI they used from Azure OpenAI Service, could understand normal questions. For example, they asked it about an actor’s outfit from a recent movie, and it described the clothes like a bomber jacket, gloves, and aviator sunglasses. They were surprised it worked so well.

“And this is the information that Myntra’s existing catalog didn’t have,” said Swapnil Chaudhari, an engineering manager at Myntra.

Chaudhari’s team for the next couple of days continued testing different prompts—phrases that the smart AI could recognise—to see what would happen. They were exploring something new, and they weren’t sure how much they could experiment with it.

“We were surprised to see the results. It was able to answer questions like clothes to wear for regional festivals like Pongal and Onam,” said Pragna Kanchana, a front-end engineer at Myntra.

Over the next five weeks, multiple teams across engineering and product development fine-tuned both the backend and the user interface for the chatbot, Myntra said.

“The chatbot was launched on the Myntra app in late May, just in time for one of their biggest marquee events, End of Reason Sale (EORS). It included sample prompts that gave users an idea of how they could use conversational language rather than keywords,” Myntra said in a statement.

The impact that the generative AI chatbot created for Myntra is phenomenal, including chances of boosting sales, they added.

“Users who shop using the chatbot are three times more likely to end up making a purchase,” said Mondal. “Because it also helps users discover a complete look from multiple categories of products, we’re seeing that on average they add products from 16 percent more categories than usual.”


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