This has always been the gap in the Amazon model. It’s ever more efficient at finding what you already know you want and shipping it to you, but bad at suggesting things you don’t already know about, and terrible whenever a product needs something specific—just try finding children’s shoes by size
—Benedict Evans, in ‘Amazon as experiment’
As a team at a major US media company said to me a while ago: ‘well, we know we can use ML to index ten years of video of our talent interviewing athletes – but what do we look for?’
—Benedict Evans, in ‘Ways to think about machine learning‘
This isn’t exactly an uncommon observation – lots of people have pointed out that vintage sci-fi has plenty of rocket ships but all the pilots are men – 1950s society but with robots. Meanwhile, the interstellar liners have paper tickets, that you queue up to buy. With fundamental technology change, we don’t so much get our predictions wrong as make predictions about the wrong things.
Asking the wrong questions, January 24, 2017 at 12:08PM