It's the same with Google searches. It used to be when I put something into quotes they would search exactly for that. Now they are often adding other results that don't even have that phrase. Seems they ae trying to tell me that although I searched for something they know that I really wanted something else.
I am starting to feel all these ML tools are mainly used for dis-empowering and manipulating people instead of empowering them.
The Web used to be a place where you "go to stuff." The going to stuff required knowledge and, well, effort. That limited the web.
Now the Web is a place where stuff "comes to you." Sort of like commercials "came to you" on broadcast TV every 12 or whatever minutes.
The marketing people and the Googlers would say, "That's a great achievement, because now we can predict what you're most likely to enjoy [ or buy ] and make it easier."
The cynics say, whoa, this erodes trust and privacy, and perhaps even the human psyche which becomes this vessel filled in by data provided by ML-using corporations.
I'm with the cynics.
There are some issues with relevance ranking for price where junk rises to the top when you sort by price (https://medium.com/@dtunkelang/why-is-it-so-hard-to-sort-by-...) and Amazon may just be cutting off lower relevancy items when you sort by price as a heuristic.
I would not mind if the filtering was optional; but it is not, so this is one more reason to avoid Amazon.
It's a fiddle.
Consider: maybe you know the keyword that should be in the document you want to find... but the author of the document you want to find, didn't use that keyword. Instead, they used a synonym for it, because they were unaware of the idiomatic keyword to use.
Example: medical journals. Eventually, everyone agrees on what the term for something is. But the very first few papers on that thing, might not call it that, because they were inventing it.
Do you want to fail to find those first (and most important) few papers on the subject? Or do you want Google to do the text-parsing equivalent of "snap to grid", ensuring that documents that say the right thing the "wrong" way still show up?
As far as I can tell, as far as the output goes, correcting your language and correcting the document's language are basically indistinguishable. Google could just be thinking of what it's doing as the latter, and yet it ends up having the same effect as the former.
I see it a lot Google searching for electronics terms, where combining common and unusual term sometimes causes unusual term to be ignored. The quotes used to help, but they no longer do.
As for your last point, metadata is all about addressing these issues. The context has to remain canonical, otherwise God knows what sort of legal issues would arise.
Examples: Pinterest/ Quora subscription gate
This was in reference to the concept of providing just in time delivery of commodity household consumables with the intent of customers voluntarily committing to indefinite duration deliveries for basic household needs, becoming more accurate over time with bigger comparative data sets, and able to proactively predict household consumable requirements.
Toothpaste, toilet paper, soap, laundry detergent, etc.
If I recall correctly, Amazon only had between 1 and 5 million customers at the time. Closer to the former than the latter.
It never went anywhere that I’m aware of during my time and tangential involvement with it.
I really don’t like the idea of behavioural psychology and economics being mashed up with AI and machine learning to maximise profit targeting me.
It’s bad enough having to engage with and overcome aggressive human salespeople adept at deflecting objections.
I don’t like being rude to people in the game of kabuki sales theatre.
But I really don’t like the idea of a T1000 Sales Terminator bot that is 5 steps ahead of my objections and preying on my specific personality vulnerabilities.
I’ve already got approx 100 Kindle book deals sitting unread.
1. Make full use of and derive benefit from (a resource)
‘500 companies sprang up to exploit this new technology’
2. Make use of (a situation) in a way considered unfair or underhand.
‘the company was exploiting a legal loophole’
2.1 Benefit unfairly from the work of (someone), typically by overworking or underpaying them.
‘these workers are at particular risk of being exploited in the workplace’
1. A bold or daring feat.
‘despite a series of colourful exploits, his agents obtained little intelligence of value’
2. A software tool designed to take advantage of a flaw in a computer system, typically for malicious purposes such as installing malware.
‘if someone you don't know tweets you a link, it's either spam, an exploit, or probably both’
I always check out the preview/sample first.
Then I buy them.
Then it sits in my reading queue.
I purchase books at 10x the rate I can realistically read them.
Now I have a physical library(virtually my entire home) and a virtual.
Someday I’m going to learn guitar as well as read my entire library.
With Amazon, even an advanced ad blocker is not a guarantee.
I had a similar experience recently. Amazon bounced my review for “tone.” I went back and removed the harshest words (“garbage”), softened the criticisms, and resubmitted. It’s been weeks and it’s still not up.
At this point, not even fakespot redeems Amazon. What use is filtering out fake third party reviews if amazon is complicit in inflating the reviews?
Tried to log reviews but the review was rejected because it wasn't specific enough in their opinion. I racked my brain for 2 seconds trying to add specificity to a fridge part review but my 2nd attempt was rejected as well.
Had to fix the fridge so return wasn't an option though I will order new spares from somewhere else now in anticipation of early failure of these inadvertent refurbs.
I have had an Amazon account since 2000 and I find myself using it less and less. It is just an encumbrance now generally, which is sad given how wonderful it actually used to be.
"But why not do the math for me? A quick calculation shows that the top bottle comes out to about 30 cents an ounce – two cents less than the bottom bottle. Why not show that fact?
This, folks, this is algorithmic merchandising at its finest.
Amazon knows exactly how many clicks it’s going to take for me to reach shopping fatigue. Not “on average for all shoppers,” or even “on average for each shopper who’s ever considered a bottle of hydrogen peroxide.” Amazon knows all of that, of course, but it also knows exactly how long it takes ME to get fatigued, to enter what I like to call “fuck it” mode. As in, “fuck it, I’m tired of this bullshit, I want to get back to the rest of my life. I’m going to buy one of these bottles.”
And because there’s no per-ounce breakdown of the 32-ounce bottle, and because that makes me suspicious of it, and because hell, who ever needs 32 ounces of hydrogen peroxide anyway, well, I’m just going to buy the $5 one.
Ca-ching! Amazon just made a nearly seven percent markup on my purchase. It took five clicks, 15 seconds, and a vast architecture of data and algorithmic mastery to make that profit."
The top is a two pack of 32oz bottles for a total of 64oz, coming in at just over 15¢ per oz.
This does nothing, of course, to discount the author's claims; if anything it makes it worse. Why isn't the quantity and per-object measure displayed clearly? Why do we have to rely on often subjective readings of item titles to figure out what they really are?
in the case of two bottles you are buying one SKU that contains two somethings, that each also contain 32 of something.
in the case of one bottle you are buying one SKU that contains 16 somethings.
nesting is important and meta data is a pain to parse when its not standardized in any way.
You want it now: 10 bucks,.
you want it bundled as an addon: 5 bucks.
you can wait and have it bundled with other pantry items: 2 bucks.
you have prime fresh: 2 bucks.
His argument is unsubstantiated paranoia. In fact, the "you want it now" category will _always_ fetch a premium, that's just common logistical sense.
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by other things.
Considering the author also admits to accidentally subscribing to things in the last. I would say they have a reading and paying attention to detail problem. :x
The oz showing is most likely a fluke because one product has incomplete metadata (with hundreds of millions of listings, many have incomplete data).
I'd agree, probably not helped by the fact that the $9 item is a 2-pack.
Never ascribe to malice that which is can be explained by stupidity.
Stupidity might be a bit harsh here though.
But point is relatively valid. These days of “custom pricing” due to metrics and real shady ways of displaying products/information is going to hit a breaking point. When, I’m not smart enough to forecast. I’m giving it another USA election or two from gut feeling. But the EU and USA are going to stick their nose into this at some point. Especially with another social media fiasco with an election or two. The big tech companies are building their own gallows and tying their own noose.
And it all started with “we track you to make your experience better”... scary part, my phone suggested each word to that after track.
Hell, do a web search on "hydrogen peroxide" +"$1.29".
Blain's Farm and Fleet: $1.29; IGA: $1.29; Shop Rite: $1.29 . If you're a contestant on The Price is Right, and see a 16oz bottle of peroxide, you bid $1.29, even if the previous contestant bid $1.28 .
It's the rassafrassin' commodity price, dude. And it's a staple household item.
You never go shopping on Amazon for something like that. Pick it up with your groceries.
The reason one shows the price breakdown in ounces and the other doesn't was because it wasn't set up in the listing to show that.
The shipping time is different because each listing has their stock in different warehouses.
My biggest gripe with Amazon is the third-party sellers all selling the same item they're importing from a Chinese company but rebranding it (poorly). As an example search for gaming headsets and you start to notice that the headsets being sold under different brand names look exactly the same. If you look even closer at the images you will see they don't even remove the original brand name from the headsets themselves.
To me the biggest erode in trust when I search for something and every result is the same item but rebranded and they're all at different prices with their own collection of reviews.
I've bought many items on Amazon trying to find the superior version to find out they're the exact same thing but rebranded.
If you have young kids using diapers, amazon has been one of the most expensive places. I tend to go to the big box places like costco to get better deals.
Also, the lack of a per ounce pricing could be more of a programming thing vs some conspiracy. Maybe amazon doesnt do that when there are multiple items.
Go to an independent pharmacy (of which there are fewer and fewer) and you will probably get 1-2 choices maximum for hydrogen peroxide which is so low margin that there aren't many companies that want to invest in branding for such a commodity product.
This is one of the worst examples if you are complaining about Amazon search results. One of the more common complaints you'll hear is about generic headphones. You will get pages of crap unless you restrict the search to certain models and brands. With Hydrogen Peroxide it looks like ultimately he got many different choices (more choices than he would have at any brick and mortar store in America) at an awesome price.
There are so many better categories to complain about if he wanted to make a good complaint post.
Set the sorting to "lowest price", filter by prime shipping, scroll down until you see decent reviews, and move on with your life.
Also, couldn't he have just, you know, run to the drugstore?
then look up some of the academic research on it.