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Real-Life Examples

There are many sites on the Internet currently collecting data from many different people and using machine learning and statistical methods to benefit from it. Google is likely the largest effort—it not only uses web links to rank pages, but it constantly gathers information on when advertisements are clicked by different users, which allows Google to target the advertising more effectively. In Chapter 4 you’ll learn about search engines and the PageRank algorithm, an important part of Google’s ranking system.

Other examples include web sites with recommendation systems. Sites like Amazon and Netflix use information about the things people buy or rent to determine which people or items are similar to one another, and then make recommendations based on purchase history. Other sites like Pandora and Last.fm use your ratings of different bands and songs to create custom radio stations with music they think you will enjoy. Chapter 2 covers ways to build recommendation systems.


  

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