Amazon Switches To AI Review Summaries

September 22, 2023

The online yard sale eBay offers an AI-generated description feature for sellers. Following in the same vein, Engadget reports that, “Amazon Begins Rolling Out AI-Generated Review Summaries” for products with clickable keywords. Amazon announced in June 2023 that it was testing an AI summary tool across a a range of products. The company officially launched the tool in August declaring that AI is at the heart of Amazon.

Amazon developed the AI summary tool so consumers can read buyers’ opinions without scrolling through pages of information. The summaries are described as a wrap-up of customer consensus akin to film blurbs on Rotten Tomatoes. The AI summaries contain clickable tags that showcase common words and consistent themes from reviews. Clicking on the tags will take consumers to the full review with the information.

AI-generated review summaries bring up another controversial topic: Amazon and fake reviews. Fake reviews litter the selling platform like a slew of counterfeit products Amazon, eBay, and other online selling platforms battle. While Amazon claims it takes a proactive stance to detect and delete the reviews, it does not catch all the fakes. It is speculated that AI-generated reviews from ChatGPT or other chatbots are harder for Amazon to catch.

In regards to using its own AI summary tool, Amazon plans to only use it on verified purchases and using more AI models to detect fake reviews. Humans will be used for clarification with their more discerning organic brains. Amazon said about its news tool:

“‘We continue to invest significant resources to proactively stop fake reviews,’ Amazon Community Shopping Director Vaughn Schermerhorn said. ‘This includes machine learning models that analyze thousands of data points to detect risk, including relations to other accounts, sign-in activity, review history, and other indications of unusual behavior, as well as expert investigators that use sophisticated fraud-detection tools to analyze and prevent fake reviews from ever appearing in our store. The new AI-generated review highlights use only our trusted review corpus from verified purchases, ensuring that customers can easily understand the community’s opinions at a glance.’”

AI tools are trained using language models that contain known qualitative errors. The same AI tools are used to teach more AI and so on. While we do not know what Amazon is using to train its AI summary tool, we would not be surprised if the fake reviews are using similar training models to Amazon’s. It will come down to Amazon AI vs. counterfeit AI. Who will win?

Whitney Grace, September 22, 2023


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