Social tech · September 29, 2016 0

Algorithms know what you’re going to do before you do

Take a gander down this list of 22 Ways Algorithms Know How You’ll Behave Before You Do and you’ll see that a future not unlike that of Tom Cruise’s in Minority Report isn’t too far fetched.

As ERIC SIEGEL writes:

Prediction as a capability is booming. It reinvents industries and runs the world. More and more, predictive analytics drives commerce, manufacturing, healthcare, government, and law enforcement. In these spheres, organizations operate more effectively by way of predicting behavior—i.e., the outcome for each individual customer, employee, patient, voter, and suspect.

For instance, have you ever wondered how Facebook decides what you see in your news feed?  In theory you should see all of your friend’s posts, but that’s not the case.  Here’s what Facebook actually does:

Facebook: Predicts which of 1,500 candidate posts (on average) will be most interesting to you in order to personalize your news feed. To optimize the order of content items, the News Feed ranking algorithm weights around 100,000 factors such as recency, likes, clicks, shares, comments, time spent on posts, poster popularity, your affinity for the poster and content area, and measures of relevance and trustworthiness. This intensifies the “addictive” engagement, with two-thirds of Facebook’s 1.44 billion monthly users logging in daily.

When was the last time you ordered something from Amazon? There’s a chance that Amazon knew what you were going to order before you did and proactively placed the order at one of its hub or on a truck to reduce any delays between when you placed your order to when you received your purchase.

I haven’t read Eric Siegel’s book – Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die – yet, but I bet Amazon already knows I’m going to buy it and is loading it on a truck as I type!


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