Amazon unleashes Gen AI for product descriptions, curbs it for Kindle
When you’re shopping from 'TBMPOY' or 'CARWORNIC' will you even notice the difference?
Amazon.com has unleashed a generative AI service for sellers in its supersized souk.
AI will "dramatically improve the listing creation and management experience for sellers" according to Amazon's announcement of the service, which asserts that the AI "will simplify how Amazon sellers create more thorough and captivating product descriptions" and "enrich existing listings, helping customers more confidently make purchase decisions."
Using an unspecified large language model, Amazon will allow sellers to enter "a brief description of the product in a few words or sentences" and then "generate high-quality content for their review."
Sellers can review the AI output, or just "directly submit the automatically generated content to the Amazon catalog."
Amazon reckons the results will offer customers "more complete, consistent, and engaging product information that will enhance their shopping experiences."
Just how AI hallucinations and oddities will be avoided isn't explained. Maybe shoppers won't notice errors as Jeff Bezos's online mall is already infamous for allowing odd content into its stores – especially strangely named sellers that appear to be the result of automated efforts. Your correspondent is currently shopping for a pair of hiking pants and Amazon has offered product from brands called CARWORNIC and TBMPOY.
Hopefully Amazon's AI for sellers will do better.
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Authors who post their works to the e-tail elephant's Kindle bookstore also need to consider AI as last week the content guidelines for e-book authors and publishers added a requirement to disclose machine-generated content "when you publish a new book or make edits to and republish an existing book."
Amazon wants to be told of any AI-generated images, texts, or translations.
Altering the work of an AI does not exempt authors and publishers from this requirement, as Amazon's definition of "AI-generated" includes material generated by a machine that received "substantial edits" by a human.
AI-assisted content – defined as material created by a human and then offered to a machine for edits, refinements, error-checks or other improvements – doesn't have to be disclosed.
The change was likely made after badly written and inaccurate books quickly climbed Amazon's bestseller lists by claiming to have information about recent events. The "authors" of such books were extraordinarily prolific and had scanty biographies, leading to their works being ridiculed and Amazon criticised for allowing low-quality content into its store.
Now that kind of notoriety awaits sellers who choose not to check the output of Amazon's AI. They can't say they weren't warned. ®