Are the biggest big tech companies monetizing their big datasets? I think the answer in 2020 is ‘sort of’, and doesn’t involve particularly advanced statistics.
At amazon, even really good product recommendations aren’t (I suspect) driving sales growth more than fast shipping.
For FB & G, my ML questions are:
Does ML improve the quality of their core offering (search for G, feed for FB)
Does it improve the performance of ads? (for any stakeholder)
Does it enable development of new things that diversify their product offering
For me, the answers are no, maybe, and no. G search has gotten worse as they’ve focused on recency in the index, gotten more tolerant of synonyms, and gotten less strict about quoted phrases. And no, they haven’t diversified – their core revenue stream is still ads and in G’s case that income may be drying up.
Machine learning, eh?