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Artificial intelligence

Alibaba’s AI copywriter can produce up to 20,000 lines of copy a second, passes Turing test

Chinese tech companies are implementing AI tools to improve efficiency for low-value, repetitive jobs

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 July, 2018, 12:13pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 July, 2018, 3:26pm

Copywriters fed up with writing the same tired phrases over and over again for e-commerce products may now have a helping hand, thanks to Alibaba’s new artificial intelligence-powered copywriting tool.

Unveiled by Alibaba’s digital marketing arm Alimama, the “AI copywriter” can produce up to 20,000 lines of copy a second and has passed the Turing test, according to the company.

The Turing test measures a machine’s ability to exhibit behaviour that is indistinguishable from a human through natural language conversations, and few machines have managed to successfully pass the test. The company did not immediately respond to questions about how the test was conducted.

The AI-copywriter uses deep learning and natural language processing technologies to learn from the millions of lines of existing copy on Alibaba’s Tmall and Taobao e-commerce platforms. To use the tool, copywriters simply insert a link into a product page and click a button to see different copy ideas generated by the machine. The tone of the copy can also be selected, according to the company.

“[The AI copywriter] significantly changes the way [copywriters] work: They will shift from thinking up copy – one line at a time – to choosing the best out of many machine-generated options, largely improving efficiency,” Alimama said in a statement.

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Chinese tech companies are increasingly using AI to improve efficiency for low-value, repetitive jobs, from analysing data to generating labels on packages. The technology can also conduct data-intensive operations like traffic optimisation and management, self-driving vehicles and even diagnosing illnesses and medical queries.

Current brands that use the tool include apparel chain Esprit and US clothing brand Dickies, Alimama said.

The AI copywriter is the latest in a string of AI-powered tools launched by Alimama in recent months. In April, the company unveiled Aliwood, a video editing tool that extracts key text and images from a product page to create short 20-second videos that merchants can include on their listings.

The same month, Alimama also launched a smart banner designer for merchants that allowed them to resize an advertising banner to any shape and size, in an aesthetically pleasing manner.

Alibaba is the parent company of the South China Morning Post.