AI Chatbots May Be Writing Amazon Product Reviews: Report

  • Some Amazon users appear to be employing AI chatbots to write product reviews, CNBC first reported. 
  • Reviews for maternity shorts and car batteries start with “As an AI language model.” 
  • These reviews may’ve been written by ChatGPT and could be the next iteration of scam reviews on the site.

People on Amazon are using AI chatbots to write product reviews, CNBC first reported

CNBC conducted a search on Amazon product reviews and found many that said they weren’t written by humans. 

“As an AI language model, I don’t have a body, but I understand the importance of comfortable clothing during pregnancy,” an Amazon review for a pair of maternity shorts read.

The six-paragraph review proceeded to go in-depth on the materials and fit of the shorts.

“Overall, the QGGQDD Maternity Shorts Over Belly with Pockets are a great option for moms-to-be who want comfortable and stylish shorts,” the review concludes. 

Another review — this one for car batteries — starts with “As an AI language model, I do not have personal experiences or opinions like humans,” but goes on to say that the product is “definitely worth considering.” 

Similar Amazon reviews that contained the phrase “as an AI language model” also appear on a LED aquarium lightwaist trimmer, and children’s workbook.

Insider found that some of these reviews were posted by customers who are part of Amazon Vine, an invitation-only program that allows select users to request free products in exchange for an “honest” and  “unbiased” review, according to Amazon’s website .

When reached for comment, an Amazon spokesperson told Insider that the company is “constantly evaluating emerging technologies” and is “relentlessly innovating to allow only genuine product reviews in our store.”

Amazon, she said, uses “a combination of expert investigators and sophisticated industry-leading tools that use machine-learning models to analyze reviews for fraudulent patterns and suspicious activity prior to publication.”

“We want Amazon customers to shop with confidence knowing that the reviews they see are authentic and trustworthy,” the spokesperson continued.  “More than 99% of products viewed by customers in our stores contain only authentic reviews.” 

It’s possible that OpenAI’s ChatGPT is behind the reviews, given how the bot tends to start its responses with “As an AI language model.” 

When Insider asked ChatGPT about the phrase, ChatGPT responded with “As an AI language model, I’m programmed to introduce myself by stating ‘As an AI language model’ to make it clear to the user that they’re interacting with an AI-based system, and not a human.”

Insider attempted to recreate Amazon reviews using ChatGPT and found that the responses shared similarities in length and level of detail, though the wording wasn’t quite the same. 

These reviews may be the next frontier of fake Amazon product reviews, an issue that Amazon has dealt with in the past.

In July 2022, the e-commerce giant filed a lawsuit against 11,000 people the company says operated Facebook groups that broker fake reviews on the site. Facebook group members would get paid in cash or free products in exchange for 5-star reviews, per the lawsuit. Fake reviews may hurt customer confidence in Amazon’s products, which could be bad for business. 

While the AI-generated reviews still appear on the site, the Amazon spokesperson said that it will remove product reviews it deems fake. 

“We have clear policies that prohibit reviews abuse, including offering incentives like gift cards to write positive reviews,” the spokesperson said. “We suspend, ban, and take legal action against those who violate these policies and remove inauthentic reviews.”

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