Tag Archives: Funny

The book about flies in the news

Amazon’s $23,698,655.93 book about flies is on BBC news today:

“Million-dollar book

Algorithms may be cleverer than humans but they don’t necessarily have our sense of perspective – a failing that became evident when Amazon’s price-setting code went to war with itself earlier this year.

“The Making of a Fly” – a book about the molecular biology of a fly from egg to fully-fledged insect – may have been a riveting read but it almost certainly didn’t deserve a price tag of $23.6m (£14.3m).

It hit that figure briefly on the site after the algorithms used by Amazon to set and update prices started outbidding each other.

It is a small taste of the chaos that can be caused when code gets smart enough to operate without human intervention, thinks Mr Slavin.

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