Amazon is using generative A.I. to summarize product reviews

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Packages move along a conveyor belt at an Amazon Fulfillment center on Cyber Monday in Robbinsville, New Jersey, on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022.
Stephanie Keith | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Amazon is turning to artificial intelligence to help users find the right product.

The e-retailer recently began testing a feature in its shopping app that uses AI to summarize reviews left by customers on some products. It provides a brief overview of what shoppers liked and disliked about the product, along with a disclaimer that the summary is “AI-generated from the text of customer reviews.”

A mobile listing for a children’s “Magic Mixies” cauldron toy says that buyers gave positive feedback around its “fun factor, appearance, value, performance, quality, charging, and leakage.”

“However, the majority of customers have expressed negative opinions on these aspects,” the summary states. “For example, some customers have paid over $100 for a toy that wasn’t worth it, while others have experienced issues with the product’s quality and charging.”

Amazon is testing a feature that uses artificial intelligence to summarize product reviews.

The feature was first spotted by Mark Wieczorek, technology chief of Amazon marketing agency Fortress Brand.

Amazon confirmed that it’s testing the feature. The company didn’t share specific details about it works or what AI models are being used to summarize reviews and generate text.

“We are significantly investing in generative AI across all of our businesses,” Amazon spokesperson Lindsay Shanahan said in a statement.

Amazon has long relied on AI and machine learning to deliver targeted ads and personalized recommendations to shoppers. But the recent frenzy around generative AI and chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT has pushed companies including Amazon to sharpen their focus on the technology. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said in April that generative AI and large language models stand to “transform and improve virtually every customer experience.”

Using AI to summarize reviews could be prove to be useful for shoppers. Amazon has millions of products on its online store, and there can be thousands of reviews on a single item. The company has tried to make it easier for shoppers to review products through its one-tap ratings system, which lets users leave feedback without writing a full review. More recently, some shoppers started using chatbots to write Amazon reviews for them.

Trust has long been an issue on Amazon. Bogus reviews have populated the site and other online marketplaces, and many companies have turned to a combination of human moderators and automated tools to weed them out.

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