I’ve been starting to use machine learning here at TimTech. If you don’t know what it is, here’s a very basic run down.. You track what people do, and can use that to predict what they’ll do next.
Here are some examples.. The biggest is Amazon.. When you’re browsing items they have recommendations that are similar to what you’re looking at. This has worked many times, as I’ve thought I wanted one thing and saw something that was more what I wanted in that list.
Another is Google. Ever have a time where you go to search something, and the query suggestion is spot on? I’ve had it happen to me on some real bizarre situations. It’s not a coincidence, it’s machine learning.
And another that you might not know about.. Some of those really addicting games on your phone use it to predict when you’re going to turn the game off. They can tell that after certain events you’re likely to stop playing for a bit. So they see that situation coming up and all of a sudden you open up a magical box of something cool that keeps you playing for another hour.
Right now we’re using machine learning to detect fraud. We were starting to get up to $1000/day of fraud so it had to get stopped. Since using machine learning, we haven’t had an issue in weeks. And now I’m starting to use it to predict recommendations and other fun stuff.
Now what is really neat for all you privacy wizards. Machine learning actually doesn’t know who you are or what about you. When I first thought of it, I thought it was like learning people and such. But really it’s all anonymous data because the computer doesn’t use your name or any personal info.
Anyways, that’s what fun I’ve been up to. What are you doing that’s fun?