Companies shouldn’t treat AI tools like regular software, according to eBay’s chief AI officer, Nitzan Mekel-Bobrov. They require special monitoring and permissions.
Ebay’s Nitzan Mekel-Bobrov has big plans for helping the ecommerce mainstay evolve into what he calls an AI-first company. The December launch of eBay’s proprietary AI-based tech, which can generate 3D product views, is a sign of more immersive shopping and AI-enhanced customer communications to come, built using computer vision, natural language processing, streaming and computer graphics.
As eBay’s chief artificial intelligence officer, Mekel-Bobrov — who joined the company last year after helping lead AI engineering teams at Hearst, Capital One and most recently Booking.com — takes what he calls a distributed approach to disseminating AI across eBay. People in the company’s marketing science, advertising science, search science and buyer experience teams all have domain-specific strategies “but they’re also feeding into the broader enterprise-wide strategy around maturing our AI at eBay and becoming an AI-first company, which is not something any one domain can accomplish on its own,” Mekel-Bobrov told Protocol in an interview this week.
Still, Mekel-Bobrov guards against haphazardly building AI for customer use or incorporating AI-centric tools into workflows without parameters. It’s why he’s creating standards, best practices and governance for the use of low-code and no-code AI tech by others inside the company, and why he says AI requires a unique form of monitoring and maintenance that other software does not.
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