1-800-Flowers Has Watson-Powered Robo-Concierge To Help You Choose Gifts

Do you need help selecting just the right gift for your loved ones, but don’t want to ask an actual human being for that help? 1-800-Flowers, a florist chain named after the dominant way to order things 30 years ago, now has a robo-concierge powered by IBM’s Watson platform that will tell you what someone really wants as a gift.

Yes, Watson has apparently run through his Jeopardy winnings and will be working as a gift advisor in addition to jobs as an actual robot concierge in Hilton hotels and Costa cruise ships.

1-800-Flowers already had a natural-language ordering mechanism available through Facebook, where you can simply talk to a chatbot and tell it that you’d like to order some flowers.

The new concierge, called GWYN, which stands for Gifts When You Need, is currently in beta mode and learning what sort of gifts that different kinds of people might like. Unfortunately, you’re limited to gifts that one can purchase from the 1-800-Flowers network of brands, which includes flowers, popcorn, steaks, cookies, fruit bouquets, or breakfast pastries. If what your loved one really wants is, say, books, casino credits, or a tablet computer, you’re out of luck.

GWYN [Beta]