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Algorithms and online shopping 算法对网购体验的影响

2022-05-04 21:51

来源:BBC

作者:

随身英语

Algorithms and online shopping 算法对网购体验的影响

网上购物即方便又快捷,但在 “大数据杀熟” 的时代,你能确定是自己而不是算法在引导你的选择吗?算法有何利弊?它是否会影响消费者看到的广告?听 “随身英语” 节目探讨算法和网购之间的联系。

词汇: online shopping 网购

For many of us, online shopping has made the process of purchasing goods a far simpler and more fluid process. No longer do we have to head to the shops to browse and peruse various objects, wandering round endless aisles, before finally settling for the first thing we saw. These days, we find the item we want or need online, click on it, and check out its description and user reviews. If it fits the bill, we send it to our basket and pay. There seems to be a wealth of options at our fingertips. But how do we know the options that pop up in front of us really are the best deals. And how might algorithms help or hinder us?

Algorithms, simply put, are mathematical instructions which tell the computer how to solve problems. When shopping is involved, what is the problem they solve? Well, the algorithms instruct the computer which adverts to show and which products a user is most likely to splash the cash on. By analysing things we’ve previously bought or looked at, the algorithm can predict what goods we’re most likely to be enticed by. For some people, the idea of something guessing your preferences could sound a bit intimidating. But first, let’s look at the positives.

Time is an important thing – something we don’t want to waste too much of. By telling the computer to show us adverts for things we are interested in, it can save us a lot of time sifting through things or services that don’t match our criteria. They can also help us find the best deals.

However, there are some people who have concerns about the impact of algorithms on our shopping experience. It is possible that algorithms may only select options from a limited number of brands, or may favour products from certain companies. There are also concerns that we aren’t always shown the cheapest or best deal, even though that’s what we’re searching for. Finally, some algorithms generate ads which tell you there are only a limited number of items you’re interested in left. They might just be there to manipulate you.

So, the takeaway from this is that algorithms are here to stay, and it’s wise to know they exist. Whenever you’re shopping, be it online or off, make sure to shop around for the best deals. The first thing you see might not always be the best for you.

词汇表

fluid 流畅的
head to 前往(某地)
browse 随便看看、浏览
peruse 浏览
wander round 逛来逛去
aisle (商场、超市货架间的)走道
settle for 无奈选择,只好接受
click on 用鼠标点击
description (商品)描述
user review 用户评价
fit the bill 符合要求
basket (网购结账前商品所在的)购物篮
a wealth of options 选择众多
at one’s fingertips 触手可及
pop up 突然出现
algorithm 算法
hinder 阻碍
advert 广告
splash the cash 花大笔钱,挥霍
goods 商品
entice 引诱,吸引
sift through 筛选
brand 品牌
shop around 货比三家

测验与练习

1.  阅读课文并回答问题。

1. In online shopping, where do we send our items before we pay?

2. What are algorithms?

3. How does an algorithm predict what you might buy?

4. How can algorithms help us save time?

5. What sort of algorithm-generated ads may try to manipulate you?

2.  选择意思恰当的单词或词组来完成下列句子。

1. I don’t want to have to _______ endless receipts looking for the right one.

sift through              pop up                         deal                       basket   

2. Are you trying to _______ me with that low price?

aisles                       entice                          hinder                    click on

3. I don’t want to buy anything. I’m just _______.

entice                      basket                         browsing                 pop up   

4. You’re not helping at all. Are you trying to _______ me?

entice                      description                  sift through              hinder   

5. I have been walking round these _______ looking for something for hours.

hinder                     click on                        description               aisles

答案

1.  阅读课文并回答问题。

1. In online shopping, where do we send our items before we pay?
We send items to the basket before paying.

2. What are algorithms?
Mathematical instructions which tell a computer how to solve a problem.

3. How does an algorithm predict what you might buy?
By analysing what you’ve previously looked at.

4. How can algorithms help us save time?
By showing us the best deals.

5. What sort of algorithm-generated ads may try to manipulate you?
The ones that show us there are limited numbers left.

2.  选择意思恰当的单词或词组来完成下列句子。

1. I don’t want to have to sift through endless receipts looking for the right one.

2. Are you trying to entice me with that low price?

3. I don’t want to buy anything. I’m just browsing.

4. You’re not helping at all. Are you trying to hinder me?

5. I have been walking round these aisles looking for something for hours. 

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