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US Lawmakers Press Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Fake Product Reviews

The Hill quoted an Amazon spokesperson as saying that the company “invests significant resources to protect the integrity of reviews”

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Jeff Bezos
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos walks onstage in Seattle. Source-VOA

US lawmakers have sought answers from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on what the platform is doing to rid it of fake product reviews.

In a letter on Tuesday, Frank Pallone Jr., Chairman of the House Commerce Committee, and Jan Schakowsky, who leads the committee’s consumer protection panel, asked Bezos how Amazon identifies, prevents and responds to fraudulent product reviews.

“Amazon can and should do more to protect consumers from these deceptive practices and we would like to better understand what measures your company is taking to address this issue,” the two Democrats wrote.

They also pointed out that fake product reviews also hurt competitors who play by the rules.

The lawmakers cited a BuzzFeed News report which said that unscrupulous businesses pay as much as $10,000 per month to generate positive reviews on Amazon that will trick consumers into buying their products.

They also cited a study by consumer group “Which?” that found thousands of fake reviews with obvious signs of fraud across dozens of popular tech categories on Amazon.

e-commerce
Security guards stand at the reception desk of the Amazon India office in Bengaluru, India, Aug. 14, 2015. VOA

Among other things, the study found that little known brands dominated search results in these categories.

The lawmakers also raised questions about the use of “Amazon’s Choice” label on some of the off-brand electronics products to indicate that they are “highly rated well-priced products”, while many of them have been found to be of poor quality and even defective.

Also Read: Apple Planning to Launch a Brand New iPad: Report

“Online reviews significantly affect consumers’ shopping decisions and it is important that Amazon proactively protect consumers from such misleading and harmful behaviour,” they wrote.

The Hill quoted an Amazon spokesperson as saying that the company “invests significant resources to protect the integrity of reviews”.

“Even one inauthentic review is one too many,” the spokesperson added. (IANS)

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Is Oracle Digital Assistant Smarter Than Amazon Alexa? Find Out Here!

Here's Why Oracle's digital assistant better than Amazon's Alexa

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Amazon and oracle
Amazon Alexa may lag behind Oracel Digital Assistant. Pixabay

Alexa may be your perfect living room assistant, but when it comes to specific queries with particular vocabulary from enterprises, it lags behind in rich capabilities that Oracle Digital Assistant (ODA) has to offer, a top company executive has stressed.

Oracle Digital Assistant can become your intelligent front-end — your smart router that’s able to send all your specific questions to relevant bots, according to Suhas Uliyar, VP-Product Management, Oracle Digital Assistant and Integration Cloud.

“It knows how to handle conflicts, manage security and so on and so forth. It has got Artificial Intelligence (AI) and is AI-trained so we call the routing of your questions to be relevant, and call it a skill now. Instead of bot, it’s a skill,” Uliyar told IANS during an interaction.

According to him, there are a couple of differences compared to Alexa as it works on the same model.

“Alexa is very implicit, where you have to say — Alexa, ask this skill to do something. While Oracle Digital Assistant is both explicit and implicit and you don’t need to sort of say ‘go ask the HCM (Human Capital Management) bot,’ for instance. It’ll just figure out that the question is for HCM bot and will answer accordingly,” Uliyar elaborated.

The other thing is to use the word ‘assistant’ and, according to him, we are overloading the term ‘assistant’ because if you have an ‘assistant’, she or he is smart enough to understand who you are, what your preferences are, know how you work.

“Most of the chatbots respond to a simple question and answer. Next time, it will probably remember who you are. So, the whole context is memory, and also the process side of things,” the Oracle executive added.

Oracle Digital Assistant provides the platform and tools to easily build AI-powered assistants that connect to your backend applications.

The digital assistant uses AI for natural language processing and understanding, to automate engagements with conversational interfaces that respond instantly, improve user satisfaction, and increase business efficiencies.

Most of those voice-enabled application programming interfaces (APIs) are being trained using what’s called Open Common Domain Models, which means that it understands our normal speaking style and content.

“What if an enterprise has a specific vocabulary? For example, a very common thing in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is what’s EBITDA for a company. You try saying EBITDA to Alexa or any other such assistant in the market today, and you’ll most likely draw a blank,” Uliyar told IANS.

Oracle AI
Oracle digital assistant uses AI for natural language processing and understanding. Pixabay

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) is a measure of a company’s operating performance.

According to him, to serve customers with delightful experiences every single time, there has to be a lot of innovation happening — whether it’s mobile, chatbots, Blockchain, AI or AR/VR.

“With all these new realities, what enterprises really need is a platform that can pull that ‘holistic experience’ altogether. That’s sort of the topmost challenge that enterprise customers want to solve,” he noted.

Oracle Digital Assistant is very sophisticated. It has got deep learning and is based on a technology called Sequence-to-Sequence vectoring and creates what we call as logical forms of the statement.

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“We call it a deep semantic parsing. It’s the underlying technology and is very different given the advancements of deep learning. We can do a much better job instead of understanding the linguistic constructs, versus in the past. This is quite a bit of advancement. We’re definitely very excited about pushing the boundaries,” said Uliyar. (IANS)