UK-based retailing company Kingfisher has rolled out its first artificial intelligence (AI)-powered assistant in the home improvement segment.

The AI assistance has been designed to support customers with their do-it-yourself (DIY) projects.

It will initially be introduced only across Kingfisher’s hardware store chain Castorama in France.

Customers can use the virtual assistance to answer all their DIY home improvement queries in a stepwise advice format.

Harnessing the capability of generative AI, the new assistance will also offer customised product recommendations.

Another option for customers to get their queries answered is by conversing with the AI assistant through text chat or by uploading a photo. The assistant is capable of analysing uploaded photos to carry out visual searches and answer visual queries.

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By GlobalData

Kingfisher’s AI assistant is also capable of responding in multiple languages.

Should this multi-lingual capability prove to be successful, the retailing company said it will launch the AI assistant to other brands under the Kingfisher Group.

Kingfisher group data director Tom Betts said: “Our new virtual assistant is designed to simplify the world of home improvement, making DIY projects easy and accessible for everyone.

“Whether you are a DIY novice looking for advice getting started with a project or an experienced DIYer in need of a technical answer quickly, our assistant will be on hand to support you 24/7.

“We are hugely excited by the potential of this technology and look forward to seeing the response from customers.”

Kingfisher’s data team has developed a proprietary AI orchestration framework, referred to as ‘Athena’, to ensure the new AI assistant’s success and support future AI developments.

Athena will help manage interactions and prompts with a variety of large language models and other AI tools developed by the company in-house.

It also features various controls to maintain security and safeguard sensitive or inappropriate content.