eBay reveals how it’s using Deep Learning in search

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eBay executive Hassan Sawaf, who is the Senior Director of Human Language Technology, will be talking at the SXSW conference and considering how eBay is working on search to be more intuitive, predictive and human using deep learning techniques.

Check out this video from Sawaf, where he explains the idea a bit:

According to the event blurb, the session will consider: “As we move into a world where machines learn how we act and what we want, a technique known as deep learning is coming to the forefront. Deep learning involves complex layers of calculations that allow machines to understand what would normally be way beyond their capabilities, such as identifying items based on single images from various angles. In this session, eBay’s Hassan Sawaf, Senior Director of Human Language Technology, will demonstrate how to utilize natural language processing and visual object recognition to understand users’ intent, and how this technology can distinguish whether users are buying or selling a pair of flip-flops or a pair of flats, when simply typing “footwear”.

Obviously, interesting developments with eBay search are vital but it’s difficult to see from this video exactly what Sawaf is planning.

5 Responses

  1. anyone ever told these guys that ebay is about selling and that sales and being paid is whats really important

  2. OK, great.. but before that, can Hassan Sawaf, who is the Senior Director of Human Language Technology,reach out ,laser focussed, on how cassini works? and could he translate ebay excutive speke into plain English? when those goals are reached, can he fix the idea that people want to shop globally into people want to shop locally? and fix the default button so it stays on the default Country ?

  3. Is it possible to apply human language to eBay’s CS? The last email I had from them was complete and utter gibberish, that made absolutely no sense whatsoever.

  4. This sounds incredibly interesting and I can see it playing a role in the future of search . However…. sellers need a platform that works and doesn’t manipulate visibility and limit our ability to grow as a business.

  5. the head of human language has decided humans are too stupid to use language, we’ll have the machines decide what you really want.
    bravo ebay, your logic continues to astound.
    – how about you just get humans to use the right word for what they mean to search for?

    next step; humans are too stupid to know their own address, the machine will decide where we post your purchases.

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