Amazon uses AI summaries for fake reviews problem


Amazon is rolling out a new generative AI feature that summarizes product reviews for customers, even as it uses a machine-learning model to go after the plethora of fake reviews on its platform.

The summarizing feature, which the company began testing earlier this year, is designed to help shoppers determine at a glance what other customers said about a product before they spend time reading through individual reviews, the company said in a blog post Monday. It will pick out common themes and summarize them in a short paragraph on the product detail page.

The AI-generated reviews are now available to a subset of mobile shoppers in the U.S. across a “broad” selection of products. And it may be expanded to more shoppers and additional categories of products in the “coming months” based on customer feedback, said Vaughn Schermerhorn, Amazon’s director of community shopping.

The announcement also nodded to Amazon’s efforts to crack down on fake reviews on its platform — a problem that reports say affects between 15% and 40% of reviews on the platform.

“We continue to invest significant resources to proactively stop fake reviews. This includes machine learning models that analyze thousands of data points to detect risk,” the company said, including analysis of accounts “including relations to other accounts, “sign-in activity, review history, and other indications of unusual behavior.”

The AI-generated summaries “use only our trusted review corpus from verified purchases,” Amazon said. Also on Monday, Amazon announced it had filed two lawsuits against brokers that it said encouraged people to write fake Amazon reviews.

The Seattle-based company has been looking for ways to integrate more artificial intelligence into its product offerings as the generative AI race heats up among tech companies. Amazon hasn’t released its own high-profile AI chatbot or imaging tool. Instead, it’s been focusing on services that will allow developers to build their own generative AI tools on its cloud infrastructure AWS.

Earlier this year, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said in his letter to shareholders that generative AI will be a “big deal” for the company. He also said during an earnings call with investors last week that “every single one” of Amazon’s businesses currently has multiple generative AI initiatives underway, including its devices unit, which works on products like the voice assistant Alexa.

In addition to the AI generated review, the company said Monday it will also offer a product insights feature that allows customers to surface common themes in reviews.

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