Amazon Uses AI To Track Down Fake Reviews

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Amazon introduces new AI tools to track down fake reviews, tests generative AI to summarise users’ comments

Amazon says it is using new AI-powered tools to help weed out fake reviews.

Separately, the company also confirmed it is testing generative artificial intelligence to summarise reviews on some products, in order to help people get the gist of what can run into thousands of user comments.

In April Amazon chief executive Andy Jassy said generative AI and large language models would “transform and improve virtually every customer experience“.

The e-commerce giant has long used AI machine learning models to analyse thousands of data points to help track down fake reviews.

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Image credit: Amazon

Fraud detection

It said it is now equipping experts with “sophisticated fraud-detection tools” to help prevent fake reviews from appearing on its stores.

The company said it blocked more than 200 million suspected fake reviews last year and is taking continued legal action against fake review brokers, which often run multinational businesses buying and selling fake reviews purchased from consumers.

Such brokers approach consumer via third-party social media channels and encrypted messaging services and solicit them to write fake reviews in exchange for money, free products or other incentives, at times presenting themselves as legitimate businesses, Amazon said.

The company said it took legal action last year against 90 “bad actors” around the world facilitating fake reviews and sued more than 10,000 Facebook group administrators that were involved in selling fake reviews.

Legal action

As of the end of May 2023 it said it has already taken legal action against 94 organisations in the US, Europe and China, including a UK group called Nice Rebate.

“Our legal actions globally are starting to drive results as we have shut down some of the largest global brokers, including Matronex and Climbazon,” the company said.

It called for more cooperation between the private sector, consumer groups and governments over the problem.

Consumer group Which? welcomed Amazon’s actions, but said fake reviews remain a huge problem, and estimated one in seven reviews on Amazon are fake.

Generative AI

Meanwhile Amazon confirmed it is testing generative AI to write summaries of what can run into thousands of user reviews per product.

The summaries give indications of what reviews said they liked or disliked about a product and include a disclaimer saying the text is “AI-generated from the text of customer reviews”.

“We are significantly investing in generative AI across all of our businesses,” Amazon said in a statement.

Generative AI has become a huge area of interest for users, investors and companies since the release of ChatGPT by Microsoft-backed OpenAI last November.