Amazon is now using an artificial intelligence to help mitigate the damaging effects of fake reviews and dodgy ratings.
The AI, which was built in-house, uses machine learning to work out whether a product review is genuine or spurious.
The system then boosts the prominence of verified customer purchase reviews, gives more weight to recent reviews, and promotes reviews voted as being helpful.
It also affects a product’s 5-star rating. Until now, this was worked out as a simple average. Now, however, it becomes weighted using the aforementioned criteria, with questionable ratings having less impact on the overall score.
“The system will learn what reviews are most helpful to customers...and it improves over time,” said Amazon spokesperson Julie Law, speaking to Cnet.
She added: “It’s all meant to make customer reviews more useful.”
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The change went into effect on Friday, and is expected to have minimum impact on reviews initially.
As the system becomes more intelligent, however, reviews will become much more helpful to customers.
Law continued: “It’s just meant to make things that much more useful, so people see things and know it reflects the current product experience.”
According to the spokesperson, Amazon looked “very closely” at the new review platform before implementing it, although she declined to reveal how long the system had been in development.
It’s currently only available to Amazon customers on the US version of the site, and the company has yet to reveal whether the platform will roll out to other countries.