How is Artificial Intelligence Changing eCommerce?

AI is Transforming the eCommerce Landscape

Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is being adopted at a rate of knots. It provides individuals and businesses with a dynamic set of tools to enhance efficiency, performance, and functionality. The pace of change with AI technology is simply mind-blowing. While people fear the worst – such as machines taking over from humans – new opportunities are being created to ensure synergy rather than dominance between man and machine. The social benefits of AI technology are extraordinary, and ongoing learning, real-time updated knowledge bases, and widespread adoption are now the norm.

As for eCommerce companies, AI is racking up plaudits across the board. Decision-making processes, purchases, processing capacity, 24/7 uptime, and reduced errors are but a few of the many benefits that online businesses are enjoying with AI technology. Repetitive jobs can now be performed more efficiently, and with almost zero error. This eliminates the effects of fatigue on performance and removes emotion from the equation. Now it is possible to make instant decisions based on a set of structured guidelines, rather than emotion-based processes. Provided AI does precisely what it is intended to do, and control over the system is delegated to the user, it is a powerful resource to use.

NLG is a Promising New Technology

The rapid growth of eCommerce has given rise to increased demand for innovative AI solutions, bringing forth use of innovative technologies such as Natural Language Generation. Natural Language Generation (NLG) is considered a subdomain of artificial intelligence. Its goal is to manage a plethora of data more effectively and to transcribe concepts into words. NLG differs considerably from NLU, which is Natural Language Understanding. The former is a disambiguation process, while the latter is a decision-making process regarding effectively wording a concept. Various stages are involved in transforming an idea into text, notably: Content determination, structuring of documents, aggregation of data, lexical choices, creation of referring expressions, and ultimately generating the content.

The AI technology that spawned Natural Language Generation is now available to create content that reads like speech, replete with all the nuances, grammatical intricacies, phrases, and soundbites that regular people communicate with. It reads precisely like human generated language – the real McCoy. It is remarkable how realistic and believable Natural Language Generation really is.

Where to Next for NLG?

NLG technology, although years in the making, is only now being adopted by ecommerce companies. Today, enterprise-level companies are dealing with hundreds, perhaps thousands of product lines and SKUs. The amount of content that is required to differentiate products and/or services is extraordinary, and human beings are simply incapable of creating the necessary data to accurately transcribe this. The wealth of data available at companies vis-à-vis their products simply boggles the mind.

Human involvement in content creation at that scale is expensive, time-consuming, and inefficient. The sheer number of products, components, systems, operations, and interactions between various elements necessitates a far more effective system of managing data. From another perspective, customers and clientele expect the provision of accurate and relevant content that leads to picking the right products/services. A clear example of the complexities that exist for customers can be found in the motor vehicle industry where a specific part may be needed for a specific vehicle. Customers have zero-tolerance for sites that do not optimize their product offerings to their preferences. Only relevant content should be displayed for customers on these eCommerce platforms. The answer to this need is found in NLG.

The use of upgraded and enhanced data sets through artificial intelligence technology now facilitates descriptive content which reads exactly like human-written content. NLG technology is cutting a swath through the eCommerce arena and it’s being adopted with increasing alacrity. As we move through this exciting new arena of technological advancement, many profitable opportunities will open. This is true across multiple industries and in many fields.


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