An algorithms tour

A year ago, I never would have thought I would be relying on a staff of eighty data scientists to dress me. But, I do.

A year ago, in preparation for attending a conference, for example, I would’ve been trying on a stack of clothes in a dressing room and relying on a total stranger to tell me if what I had on looked good and fit well.

Today, many of the outfits I wear are personally chosen for me and delivered in a box –- 5 pieces at a time –- based on my dimensions, my style preferences, and collaborative filtering algorithms. There are actually 85 data points captured.

The clothing box service I subscribe to uses these algorithms not just on my preferences but also for warehouse assignment, cost calculation, and inventory. Trained neural networks are used to describe pictures on my Pinterest board. Natural language processing is used to score items based on my textual feedback. After all the calculations, a request gets routed to a human stylist and pick the five things they will send me and write me a short note. I can contact my personal stylist if I want to. It’s very personalized. It’s unified with other areas of my online presence. Its mobile app is simple – I just have to click keep or return.

THIS is thinking differently about the shopping experience.  Check out the tech here.

If you want to flip HR on its head, you have to think differently about the experience we provide workers. You need to think differently about the learning experience.

If you didn’t see that job ad, maybe you’re too old (age discrimination on digital platforms)

PROPUBLICA and The New York Times co-published an article about several companies that are recruiting applicants for jobs using targeted ads that exclude particular age groups. I’m not talking about millennials. At a time where companies look to remove unconscious hiring bias by utilizing talent acquisition software, this is alarming.  An employment lawyer calls it blatantly unlawful. Facebook defends it as an accepted industry practice. And it’s not just them. We’ll have to wait and see how the legal challenges pan out. Meantime, you want to remove your age from social media platforms. You’ll lose some cake emojis once a year but oh well.

PROPUBLICA | Dozens of Companies Are Using Facebook to Exclude Older Workers From Job Ads | December 20, 2017