New York (The Verge) — AI translation boosted eBay sales more than 10 percent theverge.com/2019/5/15/1862….
AI is supposedly very important for economic growth, but surprisingly there’s not a lot of empirical evidence to back up that claim. A new paper studying eBay’s use of AI translation tools offers some, showing how the service improved sales 10.9 percent.
Looking at data scraped from eBay, the researchers compared sales between the US and Spanish-speaking Latin American countries before and after the shopping platform introduced AI-powered translation for product listings in 2014. (Specifically, the translation tool affected the titles of listings and search queries, but not product descriptions.)
Prior to this eBay offered automatic translation, but the use of AI significantly improved the service’s accuracy. You would expect that better translations would lead to greater sales, and that’s exactly what the researchers found. Their data showed that sales from the US to countries affected increased 10.9 percent after the launch of the tool. — James Vincent/@verge