halflings comments on “You probably don’t need AI/ML. You can make do with well written SQL scripts”
This could’ve been a valid criticism of people that use ML where it’s not appropriate, but it ended up being a bit of an irrational rant, and a dishonest one too:
> I mean, why send a letter with breast pumps to a man that just bought a pair of sneakers? It doesn’t even make sense. Typical open rate for most marketing emails is anywhere between 7 – 10%. But when we do our work well, we saw close to 25 – 30%.
How do you know what items are compatible to each other? Why only recommend sneakers to somebody with sneakers, instead of also recommending sport clothing?
Oh, I guess you could build some type of topology of all your shopping items. But what about recommending soccer balls to people that bought soccer shoes? You could also add that to your database, but now you also need a heuristic to score item similarity: `category_matches * 10 + subcategory_matches * 5 + color_matches * 2 + …`
This is the whole point of ML. People have been building rule-based systems built on “domain expertise” for ages, only to find that they are limited and cannot compete with simple algorithms fed with enough data.