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When algorithms fail

Algorithmic fail… So I search for “Sinners Like Me CD” on eBay (Eric Church). Ebay suggests related items: “Just Like Me perfume”, “Dolls Like Me” (apparently a line of multi-ethnic children’s/girls dolls), and “‘Sinner’ T-shirts”.

Presumably the algorithm took word pairs out of the original search string and matched them against the most popular searches with that word pair. But there was no (or perhaps only a very weak) context check to see if the items were remotely related in any other way.

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