Amazon expands generative AI-powered product listings to Europe

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Amazon is rolling out its generative AI listing smarts to more sellers, revealing today that sellers in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK can now access tools designed to improve product listings by generating product descriptions, titles, and related details.

Additionally, sellers can also “enrich” existing product catalogs by automatically adding missing information.

The announcement comes nine months after Amazon first revealed plans to bring generative AI technology to sellers. The company isn’t revealing too much about its availability on a market-by-market basis, but it’s likely largely limited to the U.S. so far, though the company did quietly launch the tools in the U.K. earlier this month, as noted in an Amazon forum post. And in its blog post today, the company said it rolled out the feature in the U.K. and some EU markets “a few weeks ago,” and that more than 30,000 of its sellers have at least used these AI-enabled listing tools in the intervening period.

Amazon offers these new tools as a way to enable sellers to list goods more quickly. List your products page as usual, where they can start by entering some relevant keywords describing their product and simply hit the Create button to form the basis of a new listing. The seller can also create a listing by uploading a photo via the Product Image tab.

Amazon marketing image for generative AI-powered listings
Image Credit: Amazon

Amazon will then magically generate a product title, bullet points and description that can be left as is or edited by the seller. However, given the tendency for large language models (LLMs) to cause confusion, it is unwise to post a listing without checking it first – a point that Amazon acknowledges by recommending that the seller review the copy “thoroughly” to ensure everything is correct.

“Our generative AI tools are constantly learning and evolving,” the company announced at its UK forum two weeks ago. “We’re actively developing powerful new capabilities to make generated listings even more effective, and make it even easier for you to list products.”

Earlier this year, Amazon also launched a new tool that allows sellers to create product listings by posting a URL on their existing website. It’s unclear when or if Amazon will expand this functionality to other markets outside of Europe or the US

Questioning the Data

While Amazon is no stranger to AI and machine learning across its vast e-commerce empire, bringing any form of AI to European markets raises some potential issues around regulation. For starters there’s GDPR on the data privacy side, not to mention the Digital Services Act (DSA) on the algorithmic risk side, which designates Amazon’s online store as a very large online platform (VLOP) with the aim of ensuring transparency in the application of AI.

For context, last week Meta was forced to halt plans to train its AI on European users’ public posts after regulatory pressure. And Amazon has faced the wrath of EU regulators in the past over its misuse of merchant data, when it was alleged that Amazon used non-public data from third-party sellers to benefit its own competing business as a retailer. And just this month, UK retailers sued Amazon for £1.1 billion over similar allegations.

While Amazon’s latest attempt at generative AI is a different proposition, it will have to train its LLM on some sort of data — what data this is, is unclear. In its initial announcement last September, Amazon shared a quote from its VP of selection and catalog systems, Robert Tekiela, who mentioned “diverse sources of information.”

With our new generative AI models, we can predict, improve, and enrich product knowledge at an unprecedented scale and dramatically improve quality, performance, and efficiency. Our models learn to infer product information through diverse sources of information, latent knowledge, and logical reasoning. For example, they can infer that a table is round if the diameter is listed in the specifications or predict the collar style of a shirt from its image,

Robert Tekiela, vice president of Amazon Selection and Catalog Systems

TechCrunch has reached out to Amazon for comment on these various issues, and will update when we receive a response.

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