Judah vs. the Machines: For when you can’t bring yourself to go shopping

You’d be forgiven if you can’t be bothered to drag yourself to the store to shop for shoes and clothes and things for your bedroom. The internet is there for you, after all. But if you don’t know what you want? Well, I guess there is an app for that. And Judah Friedlander wants to take it on.

In this episode of Judah vs. the Machines, Friedlander, a self-described shoe expert because he “has feet,” tries to be better at shopping for three human guinea pigs than an app called Operator.

After standing in phone booths with no phones, not playing pool with pool players, poking fun at a dead plant and engaging in one awkward handshake, Friedlander sat down with three people who can’t bear to shop for themselves and have no idea what they want. To determine the best options for them, he asked them intently about their likes and dislikes, their fears and motivations and their worldly desires to feel refreshed upon waking up.

For his part in the competition between man and AI, we see Friedlander make the very human decision to search Google, the trick up his sleeve, for the items the three shoppers seek. Meanwhile, Operator does its deed using some AI smarts Friedlander decidedly lacks.

In the end, the shoppers had the opportunity to choose between products selected by the human-curated chatbot and those selected by Friedlander. Watch the video above to find out who shops the best and whether there is an answer to Friedlander’s burning question: Are there volcanoes in Austria?

See all eight episodes of Judah vs. the Machines here.