Ebay Launches AI-Powered Image Search Tools

By Power Retail | 26 Oct 2017

Ebay has announced its new AI features, Image Search and Find It On eBay are now live on its mobile apps.

Not sure how to describe what you’re looking for? Ebay aims to make it simpler for shoppers, as simple as snapping a picture.

The new tools on Ebay apply artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to its 20 plus years of images and billions of items, enabling users to shop not just mobile, social, and online spaces, but also in real-world settings.

Leveraging the latest advances in two core parts of artificial intelligence, computer vision and deep learning, with its new features, Ebay hopes to make it easier to find and buy the things that inspire shoppers. When a shopper uploads images to run Find It On eBay and Image Search, Ebay uses a deep learning model called a “convolutional neural network” to process the images.

The output of the model gives Ebay a representation of the image that Ebay can use to compare to the images of the live listings on its platform. The items are then ranked, based on visual similarity and use Ebay’s open-source Kubernetes platform to bring the results to the customer faster, wherever they are in the world.

Here’s how each of these new tools work:

Image Search

Online shoppers can take a photo or use an existing photo from their camera roll of an item they want to purchase and enter it into the search bar. Ebay will then surface listings that are a close match or visually similar so users can purchase. This is very similar to ASOS’s visual search tool that it recently rolled out mid year.

Ebay Launches AI-Powered Image Search Tools find it on ebay Image Search machine learning e-commerce news

Find It On eBay

Shoppers on any social platform, mobile app or website, can share the URL to eBay’s mobile app to find product listings. With Find It On eBay, online shoppers can start their search on any social platform, like Facebook, or while browsing a blog or website. Online shoppers can share the image with eBay and the eBay mobile app will surface similar listings.

Ebay Launches AI-Powered Image Search Tools find it on ebay Image Search machine learning e-commerce news

Find It On eBay and Image Search are only the beginning, according to Ebay. As shoppers continue to search with pictures (instead of words), Find It On eBay and Image Search will get smarter, learn more, and improve on the results that are surfaced.

These features are just some of the ways Ebay says it’s transforming the shopping experience for consumers. Over the past year, the online marketplace has also leveraged image recognition technology as another avenue to help consumers find what they’re looking for when using Ebay ShopBot for Facebook Messenger; and, when shopping for fashion items eBay’s Shop the Look helps buyers browse for items that make up iconic fashion looks.

Find It On eBay is now live on Android, while Image Search is now live on Android and iOS.

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1 Comment

One thought on “Ebay Launches AI-Powered Image Search Tools”

  1. AJ says:

    So will they stop the same seller selling under multiple accounts with the same item using a slightly different mpn?

    The same sellers who abuse listings by manipulating search data when they have variants that are only made to attract buyers, because the variant is super cheap and not what you are looking for in the first place.

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