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eBay enables AI-based mobile seller photo enhancement

eBay AI background tool
eBay is releasing a new AI solution to enhance product listing photos.

Sellers on eBay have a new artificial intelligence tool to help them transform mobile product listing photos into professional grade images.

The AI-based background enhancement tool allows eBay sellers to remove a background from an existing product listing photo, leaving just the actual item they are selling, and then place that item in a new AI-generated backdrop chosen from a variety of scenes and themes. 

Background enhancement is available to iOS app users in the U.S., U.K., and Germany, and will gradually roll out to Android over the coming months. eBay sellers have had the ability to automatically remove image backgrounds and replace them with a clean white background since 2020. 

Background enhancement builds on that functionality and is still in early rollout as the e-commerce marketplace continues to garner feedback and iterate the experience. eBay created the tool using open source deep learning and inpainting models based on stable diffusion, paired with eBay's anonymous data and infrastructure. 

In the coming year, the company says its visual generation models will be fine-tuned based on feedback from sellers and customers. User guidance was incorporated within the listing process to remind sellers to check for accuracy in the images they select, and to remind them to be transparent about the role of AI where appropriate. 

eBay has developed other AI-based seller tools, specifically based on the generative AI machine learning models, in the past year.

In December 2023, the retailer released a new feature based on generative AI technology that enables sellers to draft social media posts with the click a button. 

And in September 2023, the e-tailer released what it termed a "magical" seller listing solution that uses AI to analyze, research and extrapolate details about listings from a small amount of seller-provided data, including images.

From a photo, the AI technology can write titles, descriptions and add vital information, which could include product release date, detailed category and sub-category, and can combine with eBay’s other technology to suggest a listing price and shipping cost.

"We are using AI to help our sellers accomplish their listings more seamlessly, faster, and with higher quality," said eBay VP of seller experience Xiaodi Zhang. "Our sellers' time is valuable, and we want to ensure our tools allow them to meet their listing goals and drive more sales."

Founded in 1995 in San Jose, Calif., eBay Inc. generated nearly $74 billion of gross merchandise volume in 2022.

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