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Amazon product listings are about to get a lot more confusing

Published Sep 13th, 2023 8:08PM EDT
Amazon's logo on a dark background
Image: Amazon

Amazon is the biggest online marketplace in the world, but pretty soon, those product listings may get a bit more confusing. That’s because Amazon has just launched generative AI tools to help sellers create AI-generated product listings. 

While the idea here isn’t bad, it’s the execution that has us concerned. For one, generative AI like ChatGPT is still really inconsistent and has a tendency to make things up. In a world where many sellers are already abusing Amazon’s listing system with nonsensical descriptions, this opens the door for terrible products to gain even more traction.

The new feature is currently in early testing, which means it isn’t openly available to everyone, so there’s a chance that Amazon will tweak it and make it more reliable and secure before every seller has access to AI product listings. If all goes accordingly, it should be easier for sellers to generate in-depth and accurate listings for their products.

amazon ai product listingsImage source: Amazon

The problem, though, is that AI-generated content requires a lot of oversight to ensure it is up to par before sending it live. In my experience using generative AI, it often requires more effort to correct the AI’s mistakes than just writing something myself. Of course, for something like product listings, it could prove useful. It just depends on the implementation.

This isn’t Amazon’s first foray into AI-generated content. Previously, Amazon introduced AI-generated reviews, which paraphrase the dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of other reviews on a product page. This raises even more concerns that we don’t need to get into here, but it definitely hasn’t given me any faith in Amazon’s use of AI across its website.

Based on the images shown in Amazon’s announcement, the AI product listing generation tool will just require a short prompt, similar to ChatGPT. Of course, the more you write, the more you’re likely to get out of it. Ultimately, time will tell just how this turns out. For the moment, though, I’m not excited to start seeing AI-generated descriptions that may or may not be accurate representations of the products I’m shopping for on Amazon.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.

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