We've all been there – unwrapping an Amazon package and wondering what possessed us to buy ten litres of mayonnaise and a complete DVD set of Allo Allo. And then remembering it was gin. Now programmer Darius Kazemi has automated the process with Amazon Random Shopper, a bit of software that buys him US$50 worth of books, CDs and DVDs every month, with each purchase documented on his own Random Shopper blog.
Once the software has located what it deems a worthy purchase completely at random, it checks the price and then buys it. Next, it works out how much money is left and either buys something else to use up all the dosh or stops the cycle, depending on what's left.
While US$50 won't get Kazemi into a great deal of debt – Amazon Random Shopper uses a unique Amazon account and gift cards to keep its spending in check – it's interesting to see what a completely random bot will go for. Its first two purchases were a book about Cartesian Linguistics by Noam Chomsky and a spot of electro-accoustic music in the form of Hungarian composer Ákos Rózmann and two of his works combined. Ecletic tastes, indeed.
Knowing Amazon's Black Friday sale is now in full swing, Kazemi may get a little more for his money than usual.