Can Hunch's Algorithm Improve Your Gift-Giving Skills?

With the holidays approaching, we're entering that time of year when desperate people grab things like ties, inappropriate books, and goofy toys in a pathetic attempt to bring joy to their friends and loved ones. Can algorithms help? New York-based startup Hunch thinks they can, and Gifts.com, the shopping site that is part of the IAC empire, apparently agrees. Gifts.com has been using Hunch's recommendation engine for almost two weeks now, and the company says its conversion rate (i.e., the number of people who go from being shoppers to buyers) is as much as 60 percent higher than it was before the site started using the tool to make recommendations.

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