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eBay Launches New Tool for Creating Product Listings Using Photos

eBay introduces a new AI tool that generates product listings from photos, aiming to simplify the selling process. However, long-time sellers express concerns about its accuracy and usefulness.

eBay Unveils AI 'Photo-to-Listing' Tool Amid Seller Concerns

eBay, one of the pioneers in online marketplaces, is leveraging AI to simplify its product listing process. The new 'Photo-to-Listing' tool, initially available for iOS and soon for Android, aims to make the seller's job far easier by generating a product title, description, and even suggesting categories and prices based on a single photo.

eBay aims to tackle the 'cold start' problem often faced by newcomers, who find themselves overwhelmed by the details required to make a competitive listing. The tool should allow for a seamless entry into the world of eBay selling, according to the company.

Developed internally, eBay's AI tool builds on previous endeavors like AI-generated catalog descriptions and a background removal tool for photos. "We're using AI to reduce friction and transform the process of listing," says Nitzan Mekel-Bobrov, eBay’s Chief AI Officer.

The move follows eBay's previous announcements of using OpenAI language models to generate item descriptions based on content available on the web.

However, not everyone is thrilled with eBay's aggressive AI approach. Long-time sellers have taken to forums and Reddit to express their concerns. Complaints range from inaccuracy to verbosity, and some users argue that the time saved by using the AI tool is offset by the time needed to correct its errors.

The broader question of AI bias and reliability also looms large, especially in the area of computer vision. If existing algorithms struggle with bias, can eBay's new feature be trusted for accurate representation?

eBay is not alone in embracing AI for retail solutions. Shopify and Amazon have also dabbled in AI-generated product descriptions and summaries. However, eBay's approach seems to be one of the most aggressive in this domain.

While eBay’s new tool promises to revolutionize the listing process for new sellers, the questions and concerns from long-time sellers make one wonder if eBay has struck the right balance. Is simplifying the listing process worth the potential cost in accuracy and user trust? As AI becomes an ever more integral part of online marketplaces, it's a question that both sellers and buyers will increasingly ask.