Web Connects, But Can't Think Before It Links

Content sometimes generates odd associations
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2008 11:09 AM CDT
Articles about controversial stories such as the Eliot Spitzer scandal are triggering unexpected results from contextual link systems. (AP Photo)   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Automatic "tagging"—the generating of related links and targeted advertising, custom-tailored to whatever the reader is browsing—is now commonplace across the web. But the young technology is not without its share of kinks. The AP examines the sometimes inexplicable, often embarrassing links served up when when human editors aren’t looking.

The more notable foibles include Yahoo’s link to photos of “underage girls” triggered by a story on the Eliot Sptizer scandal, and Google’s ad for luggage with an article about a dead body stored in a suitcase. "We are really only in the infancy of this kind of automated analysis," explains one expert.