Re: Anyone remember the Michael Jackson defamation on Amazon?
For a company as large and advanced as Amazon have become in recent years (doubly so with the fact that they're almost as much a distributed computing vendor now), you might expect their recommendations would be almost scarily perceptive, the result of borderline should-be-illegal data mining on massive sets of information.
Yet in practice, they still seem to make understandably stupid suggestions along the lines of "you've bought a £500 DSLR camera two months ago, perhaps you'd like to buy this other similar DSLR camera as well". Er, no. I just bought a DSLR, I'm actually less likely to buy another.
I bought XYZ textbook for uni at one point; I'm *less* likely to buy a comparable textbook years after I graduated.
I bought something as a present, it contaminates all Amazon's perceptions of what *I* want.
To be fair, that last one isn't too likely to be obvious unless you explicitly state it was a present. However, the textbook and camera examples are far more predictable for certain types of product. You can understand the flawed logic behind these recommendations, but that in itself suggests a level of sophistication (or lack of it) that hasn't moved on anywhere near as much as you'd have expected in the past 15-plus years.
Sometimes it just gets nonsensical.
I've got a screenshot from just a couple of years back where Amazon.co.uk's recommendation to me was "The Prince" by Niccolò Machiavelli.
To be fair, I'd considered reading it at some point. However, Amazon's claimed basis for this recommendation was the fact I'd previously bought "LEGO Bricks & More 626: Large Green Baseplate".