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eBay Acquires Artificial Intelligence Technology

eBay will acquire an artificial intelligence company called Expertmaker and says the move will help it advance its structured data initiative.

eBay’s head of Structured Data Amit Menipaz was quoted in the announcement: “eBay’s structured data effort is a multi-year journey, and we believe the innovation and significant expertise that Expertmaker brings to eBay will help us build a best-in-class product catalog and in turn better serve our customers.”

eBay CEO Devin Wenig has been touting the project as a way for eBay to regain SEO mojo and deliver better experiences for shoppers. Last year, he told Wall Street analysts that eBay looks at the world through listings, which unlike the catalog approach (used by Amazon, for example), are transient. They come and go and don’t have “link equity,” he said, “and they’re hard to attach content to.”

One eBay executive referred to the initiative as “make or break” for eBay.

Expertmaker founder and CEO Lars Hard will join as Director of Data Science and will report to Menipaz. Prior to founding Expertmaker, Hard was involved in founding a variety of startups with a focus in advanced AI, machine learning, math and big data, including Lytics.ai and Dragonfire Research. Hard will continue to lead his team as a part of eBay and serve as a visiting lecturer at Lund University in Sweden.

Read more on the EcommerceBytes Blog, “Can Artificial Intelligence Help Save eBay?”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.