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Alibaba uses AI to redefine China’s online shopping experience

Anuradha Shukla | June 14, 2017
AI is embedded throughout its core e-commerce operations to enhance customer experience.

AI robot

Alibaba is redefining China's online shopping experience by embedding artificial intelligence (AI) throughout its core e-commerce operations.

Technology has made shopping easy for customers who leverage AI to search for products, said Jim Erickson and Susan Wang in an article on

Thanks to smart search engines, consumers are now introduced to several goods and services that they were not previously aware of.

Alibaba has also introduced customer-service chatbots that can resolve consumer complaints without requiring human intervention.

While previously orders were delivered in days, they now reach consumers in a matter of few hours.

The service has especially been made powerful as the data is integrated from Alibaba's shopping websites and also throughout the company's ecosystem of owned and affiliated internet assets.


Significant implications

Alibaba's usage of artificial intelligence may lead to significant changes in the e-commerce industry.

Both Erickson and Wang believe that a large number of e-commerce and other commercial organisations will begin to use artificial intelligence.

Alibaba is using several complex machine-learning methods and disciplines, such as reinforcement learning.

The company has vast computer resources and access to online data from hundreds of millions of consumers. It is thus well positioned to introduce practical, real-world AI applications into everyday use.

 "Large-scale computing and data are the father and mother of artificial intelligence," said Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma at a recent internal company technology summit. "Today, worldwide, companies that have the resources and platforms to truly develop artificial intelligence technologies are fewer than five. Successful companies must have both data and computing capacity, and also believe in the high demand for AI."


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