Incident 251: Amazon Allegedly Tweaked Search Algorithm to Boost Its Own Products

Description: Amazon tweaked product-search algorithm to boost and guide customers towards more profitable in-house products instead of showing mainly most-relevant and best-selling listings, which its internal engineers and lawyers alleged to violate company’s best-for-customer principle.


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Alleged: Amazon developed and deployed an AI system, which harmed small businesses on Amazon and Amazon Customers.

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Khoa Lam

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A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.