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AI techniques are becoming part of everyday computing: here’s how they’re being used to help online retailers keep up with the competition. Online stores use tools that algorithmically power their websites, and transform them into a “”personalised discovery platform””. Under the hood of a service that uses machine learning to manage on-site navigation, is a “”web relevance”” engine that uses user data – which has been collected at scale – to understand demand. This isn’t data about you, it’s the aggregate high-level data about all the users like you. If you liked blue sheets, that data suggests you’re also likely to like a certain type of scented candle, an approach very similar to that used by machine-learning giant Amazon. And if you don’t like it, and don’t buy it, that information becomes an input to the next iteration of machine learning rules. The result is a set of highly optimised web pages build on the fly, and delivered to users as they navigate around a site.