Friday, November 30, 2012

Need To Buy A Gift? Can't Decide? No Problem - Leave It To The Machines

A program that automates the, often difficult, task of buying gifts.

'Amazon Random Shopper' is the name of the service.

"So I built Amazon Random Shopper. Every time I run it, I give it a set budget, say $50. It grabs a random word from the Wordnik API, then runs an Amazon search based on that word. It then looks for every paperback book, CD, and DVD in the results list, and buys the first thing that’s under budget. If it found a CD for $10, then the new budget is $40, and it does another random word search and starts all over, continuing until it runs out of money, or it searches a set number of times."

- Randomized Consumerism

Running it for the first time, got him some unexpected gift,

"It’s fantastic, like nothing I’ve ever heard - specifically it makes my car sound like it’s falling apart, and actually startles me at times."

- Shipment 1: Linguistics and Dissonance

He hasn't made this service public, though. I think, it could actually be turned into a fine service to run on a public, commercial basis. Enter your budget, and let the program pick up the gift. Perhaps, specify if you want to buy only one gift that is worth the budget you have set, or you're okay with buying multiple gifts, until the budget is reached. Either specify from which store you want to buy it from, or let the program decide it too. If you want to have some control over this then, it could stop at the point where it has selected the gifts. Final decision to actually buy it is yours. You wouldn't want to find yourself buying a 55-gallon drum of lubricants, as present, for anybody.


Related: Turn any web article into a mp3 audio file for download & listening