Friend or foe: Do online recommender tools really improve decision making?

Artificial intelligence (AI) recommender tools are widely used by industries such as e-commerce, media, banking and utilities. The tool’s algorithm uses website visitors’ past online activity and other data, both implicit and explicit, to predict what that visitor would like to view or buy next, and then presents those options to them. This can be highly beneficial; for example, for customers, the recommender can save them time by suggesting options tailored to their tastes and needs. While, for companies, it can encourage consumers to spend more via their website and increase customer loyalty: in the case of streaming giant Netflix, it’s estimated that its recommendation engine generates $1 billion annually.  

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