Amazon’s recommendations are amazingly lame! And Here’s why.

Nothing I like better than getting a recommendation for something I just bought. Happens all the time with Amazon Simple logic: IF bought recently, THEN omit from recommendations If the AMZN recommender had a double-digit IQ, it would recognize that I buy this hand lotion periodically and send me a link when it estimates I […]

Retronasal perception of odors is often overlooked as a key metric

. 2012 Nov 5;107(4):484-7. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2012.03.001. Epub 2012 Mar 8. Retronasal Perception of Odors Viola Bojanowski  1 , Thomas Hummel Affiliations PMID: 22425641 DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2012.03.001 Abstract We perceive odors orthonasally during sniffing; in contrast, we perceive odors retronasally during eating when they enter the nose through the pharynx. There are clear differences between orthonasal and retronasal […]

The promise (and pitfalls) of current recommendation engines

NOTE: You can right-click all images to view a larger version. Left-click to go to data source.  Value As arbitrary as they often seem, “35 percent of what consumers purchase on Amazon come from recommendations” —  McKinsey The big disconnect While people value good recommendations, most (7%) rarely click on one from a site because […]

Beyond Genetics: How Saliva Affects Your Unique Way Of Experiencing Wine

Recommendation Insights has previously described the many ways that genetic variations determine any single individual’s wine taste experience: Inherited Taste Chaos Sabotages Recommendations. Source: Food Chemistry via Palate Press Now comes this very well-written article that expands that concept: Spit and image: How saliva customizes your wine tasting experience: “Not seeing eye to eye on […]

Turning White Wine Into Red: Recommendation Failures & The Alchemy Of Context

“[N]o event or object is ever experienced in perfect, objective isolation. It is instead subject to our past experiences, our current mood, our expectations, and any number of incidental details—an annoying neighbor, a waiter who keeps banging your chair, a beautiful painting in your line of sight. With something like wine, all sorts of societal […]

Wine And Music Are A Lot Alike & So Are The Ways Their Recommendation Systems Fail

Wine and music: please our senses, touch our emotions, beg to be shared, are deeply engrained in how we define ourselves and, can determine how other people judge us. Because of those factors, every recommendation system in use today — including those deployed by Pandora, Spotify, Slacker and other online music sites — fail because of: […]

How Predictive Big Data Fails

Recommendations from big data predictive methods are a lot like the use of epidemiology to determine the cause of a disease: Both rely on the statistical analysis and correlation of massive amounts of data. Both are indicative that something is happening. Both can offer insights into a phenomenon. Both are easily derailed by unknown confounding […]