1. mrpuny's Avatar
    Holy Poopoo! I was looking in the Store, and I saw that Groundhog Day was on sale. I already have a (edit: physical) copy of it (and I really like it), but clicking on it, when I saw the "You may also like" list, I got a little creeped out. Out of 7 movies shown (covering what I would consider a fairly broad range of movies in terms of decades, and with some variability in terms of genres, six of them are among my favorite movies. The seventh is a famous movie that I've never seen. Maybe I need to.

    Anyone else experienced this?
    02-02-2017 10:21 PM
  2. madcursor's Avatar
    The teaching and predictive algorithms have gotten pretty good at figuring out the kind of things we like to do and see these days. And it's not only Bing, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon, etc are all using all sorts of algorithms to track behaviour and preference to increase sales and advertising revenue. It definitely gets to creepy levels of accuracy, but that's the price we pay for getting services for "free". And smartphones have just made matters worse. Some people like this, some here it, but we all have no choice but to get used to this.
    02-04-2017 08:19 AM
  3. mikosoft's Avatar
    There's even more to it than just our buying habits. Pretty much everything we do online (even just browsing websites) leaves a trace, especially with stat counters, traffic counters, ads etc. Even when not logged in to any service (which also leaves trace on our computers mostly in form of cookies) our behavior and hardware can be tracked to quite reliably assign to us. This collection of data gathered via various online traces is what is called big data and that's what the companies specialised in big data sell to companies interested in generating better tailored ads.
    02-07-2017 04:46 AM
  4. mrpuny's Avatar
    Thanks for the replies. Weird, I didn't get any email notifications of replies to my post way back; I thought my post never got any replies.

    Anyway, just happened to stumble across these, and thought I'd respond.

    So I referred to it as "creepy", and I guess in a sense it is, but in a deeper sense I was in awe. I mean, going to Groundhog Day, I would expect to see recommendations like "Stripes" or "Ghostbusters" (e.g. other contemporary comedies with Bill Murray), but it was throwing out recommendations that I would consider out of left field yet I really enjoy: Duck Soup (Marx brothers move from the '30s - love it), a couple of Hitchcock thrillers, ("Rear Window" and "North by Northwest" - love them), "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, World" (goofy 60's comedy - love it, too, for other reasons - to me, but maybe now I'm not so sure - than the other movies), and some others. And these are picks that I can't directly tie to anything I consciously or directly shared with Microsoft.

    Like I said, in some ways this is creepy, but also really, incredibly, cool. I've never, ever, seen a recommendation engine in any of the services I use (Netflix, Amazon, etc.) come up with so many seemingly off-the-wall yet relevant links. In a lot of ways, it frustrates me that I feel the need to be concerned about this on any level. I'd like to feel comfortable having "the system" know everything and seeing what it comes up with....
    02-19-2017 12:09 AM

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