I don’t know about you, but for me there are few topics as complex and as fascinating as the human brain. How it evolved in us as a species, how it develops differently in each individual. How this small, low-power biological device can store memories for years, carry out complex tasks, explore large decision trees in a matter of seconds or compose the 9th Symphony in D Minor. How it enables the existence of the individually unique bundle of thoughts, feelings and self-awareness that is consciousness.
Back in the times when it was an online bookseller and not today’s ecommerce giant, Amazon used to rely upon human-written book reviews for suggesting the next book purchase to its customers. However, when a predictive algorithm was experimentally introduced, Amazon quickly found out that the algorithm-generated recommendations led to more purchases than human-generated ones, at a fraction of the price.
Smartwatches: fashion or function?
With the Apple watch and a number of other smartwatches on the rage, it’s not idle to wonder whether this kind of devices are just a transient fashion or they are here to stay. Tech companies themselves seem to lack a clear picture of what is the value proposition behind this kind of product, given that marketing strategies range wildly from geek-captivating videos to Vogue covers.
There’s been a great fuss as of late around the so-called “Facebook emotion experiment”, an investigation conducted by Facebook-affiliated scientists which involved manipulating the news feed of around 700’000 FB users in order to learn about the mechanism of emotional response to content posted by others.