Think back to when condiments started coming in the upside down squeeze bottles. No company immediately went from the glass ketchup bottle to the upside down squeeze bottle overnight so it was a long process of interim designs until someone realized what the ideal shape and features the current ketchup bottle should have. Sometimes the most common design practice isn't necessarily the best or cheapest. Bottled water used to be made of very thick plastic with large caps that were sometimes not able to be recycled. The designs have changed to more thinner, ergonomic shapes with better usage of materials both as a cost cutting effort and a green effort. It would be interesting to see genetic algorithms used for things like packaging design in the future.
Even better, give me nutella in caulk gun form. No wastage, accuracy in application to your toast and you just need to wipe the nozzle to keep it clean. No knife or spoon to clean either. There are tons of condiments I would prefer in caulk gun form. For jams and jellies, there would be no excess air that result in spoilage from when bacteria and fungi get in the jar. Thicker jams with fruit chunks can just use a larger nozzle.
And then someone had the great idea to create "dripless" bottle caps for both mustard and ketchup. Now my hotdogs always end up with a huge blob of mustard on one end.
Now the people in sales try to solve everyone's problem with them.
Me as well. It would have been a fascinating experiment.
It was first used in a Coke marketing campaign in 2014 ...
Okay, that's a little disappointing—I was hoping for some sort of image generation, rather than just cropping. But the output still looks good, so I'm not going complain too loudly.
But yeah, the headline is silly. It's the equivalent of "Vogue hired an algorithm to touch up new photos of models."
In the most basic implementation, you'd have 6 features, each with 14 possibilities, and you choose one option from each and combine them. That gets you 7.5 million combinations.
A more sophisticated implementation might pull from a larger number of features and options and apply complex transforms to produce nonformulaic output.
My guess is that what's actually cutting-edge here is not the algorithm or the designs, but the ability to print custom labels at all. My guess, though, is that it's only cost-effective as a publicity stunt. Printing 7 million identical labels is likely far less expensive.
Hard to imagine, but possible.
Surely in 2017 the average person would know what an algorithm is, outside of any tv show. Right?
They might have some idea about it being a process you follow to get a result, but they would just say, "I don't know" rather than trying to verbalize that idea.
... set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations ...
For me one of the key features of an algorithm is that it contains decisions. Most recipes are simply step by step instructions without any branching or looping.
"Bake for 40-45 minutes."
"If dough is too sticky, add flour."
Many recipes contain decisions.
It doesn't take much effort to reach the top, say, 10% of the population for knowledge or ability in most areas. For people in the top percent or so that initial, easy set of knowledge or skills are so trivial and were learned so long ago that it's easy for them to assume everyone knows or can do those things, but in fact it's just a small fraction of the population—most people having devoted nearly zero time to any given thing, or having done so only very long ago and with little interest and since having spent no effort retaining whatever capability they did once have.
Basically if it's not part of the set of things most people have to know/do to get by, day to day (so, most math past ~6th grade is excluded) and you know/can-do it at all, you're better at it than most people.
I wasn't able to infer the meaning of the word from the film, and it wasn't until a couple years through my CS degree that I remembered the use of the word in the movie and the meaning of the scene in which it was used clicked for me.
And most college degrees  don't require anything beyond basic math (e.g., intro to statistics or calc) where "algorithm" might not even be said.
Might be overcompensating because I go the entire day only talking to people with PhDs (where 100% could define it?), but I really think << 10% could accurately define it.
Most degrees don't even get that far. You can satisfy the math requirement for most degrees with college algebra. In many cases a generic math class that's considered a step below college algebra works.
That said, I'd bet your 25%/10% guesses are fairly accurate. It also depends on what answers are considered accurate. An algorithm is really just a set of steps or rules for solving a problem. It doesn't have to involve math or computers, but I'd bet "something to do with computers" would be a common response.
I think for most people "algorithm" is a fancy word having to do with advanced math formula or something like that.
As long as they don't change the flavor, of course. Love that Nutella.
Here I was hoping that they had finally made a jar you could actually get all the product out of.
I saw this in the social network too, where Zuckerberg demands "that algorithm" from Saverin and he proceeds to chalk it up on the window like that's how we communicate algorithms.
Makes me cringe a little bit!
I do love that movie but it falls to a lot of the Hollywood Hacking stereotypes.
But I think it just means they (the ad agency) wrote an algorithm.
I bought a pair of Camo shorts the other day and wondered if every pair was identical, or if they were "random". Unique products can present some fun new challenges for online retail where the customer may want to buy a specific item. Not just a jar of Nutella, but "that" jar of nutella. Maybe they'll even bid on them, because "pink stripes are my favorite" or whatever may be the value proposition.
To me this looks like a world of fun, not a chance to complain about it being the wrong tweak.
The algorithm could probably be nearly anything as long as it output a mix of complementary, or aesthetically pleasing colours and simple patterns.
Psychology might do a better job designing labels than this algorithm.
I understand the work of the algorithm is to produce the actual designs, so it accounts for the colours and patterns, but from a higher order all we are really seeing is:
>> People like colour, make lots of colour. Simple is memorable, make simple. Punchy is eye-catching, make punchy.
I would be more taken if there was indeed a feedback loop, or further testing on people to see exactly which patterns/colours had the highest number of takers, and a poll to corroborate whether or not they chose consciously or unconsciously.
In the end, sure the patterns are catchy. I guess that's all people really care for in a Nutella label. :P