Machine Learning: How Alogrithms Get You Clicking

Technology may be able to free journalists from creating sensationalistic stories to generate online traffic, but it doesn’t alter what people choose to read. Apple, Microsoft, IBM: 7 Big Analytics Buys You Need to Know (Click image for larger view and slideshow.) Click-o-tron, as described by creator Lars Eidnes, “gives us an infinite source of useless journalism, available at no cost.” It is a website that, when not overwhelmed with traffic, employs machine learning to generate clickbait headlines for news that never happened, such as “New President Is ‘Hours Away’ From Royal Pregnancy.” It barely makes sense but you want to read it anyway. It’s almost as astute in its randomness as The Onion manages to be through deliberate humor. “Clickbait” refers to sensationalist stories that aspire to maximize online visitor…

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