O’Reilly: Human-in-the-loop Machine Learning
Stitch Fix’s expert merchandisers evaluate each new piece of clothing and encode its attributes, both subjective and objective, into structured data, such as color, fit, style, material, pattern, silhouette, brand, price, and trendiness. These attributes are then compared with a customer profile, and the machine produces recommendations based on the model.
But when the time comes to recommend merchandise to the customer, the machine can’t possibly make the final call. This is where Stitch Fix stylists step in. Stitch Fix hands off a final selection of recommendations to one of roughly 1,000 human stylists, each of whom serves a set of customers.
New Yorker: Netflix’s Secret Special Algorithm Is a Human
Netflix and its chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, have been the most outspoken proponents of data-driven programming, which they say was behind the company’s biggest successes, such as “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black.” Soon after the début of “House of Cards,” David Carr, writing in the Times, pronounced that “Big bets are now being informed by Big Data.” […] I do think that there is a sophisticated algorithm at work here—but I think his name is Ted Sarandos.