Amazon has begun rolling out a new artificial intelligence assistant that is meant to address shoppers product questions, but the feature raises as many questions as it answers.

Rufus, as the software is known, will help users, according to Amazon, by guiding them to the toaster ovens or dinosaur toys that best fit their needs. Yet Amazon has a history of steering customers toward products that most benefit Amazon, either because they are more profitable or are backed by advertising dollars, according to the Federal Trade Commission's pending 2023 antitrust lawsuit against Amazon.

The FTC accused Amazon of "biasing Amazon’s search results to preference Amazon’s own products over ones that Amazon knows are of better quality." Further, the FTC alleges the Seattle firm operates a "pay-to-play” system, giving top billing for the products on which marketers were willing to spend the most. The company has denied the claims and said it will contest the suit in court.