Could Netflix and Amazon hold the key to striking oil and gold? Scientists to use big data to hunt for mineral deposits

4 August 2017

Scientists searching for everything from oil and gas to copper and gold are adopting techniques used by companies such as Netflix or Amazon to sift through vast amounts of data, a study showed on Tuesday.

The method has already helped to discover 10 carbon-bearing minerals and could be widely applied to exploration, they wrote in the journal American Mineralogist.

‘When you see minerals together it’s very like the way that humans interact in social networks such as Facebook,’ he said.

Hazen said the technique was also like Amazon, which recommends books based on a client’s previous orders, or by media streaming company Netflix, which proposes movies based on a customer’s past viewing habits.

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