Saturday, June 13, 2009

A New Twist on the ole' Magic 8 Ball

We have Google, Cha Cha, Wikipedia and a gazillion other sites to help us find information. What about those tougher life/relationship questions? Now we have hunch, a "decision-making site that gets smarter the more its used." Called "machine learning", it gathers information about the user's personality and preferences to generate customized decisions. hunch is "like a friend getting to know someone's taste and preferences over time, so they can provide sound and trusted advice."

What kind of car should I buy? Where should I go on vacation? Should I really go to my 30th high school reunion? The Magic 8 Ball is designed for yes/no questions, with 20 standard answers. It has worked very well for me over the years, so I am going to run both applications side by side for awhile ;)

The hunch team says "Mostly we're a bunch of MIT nerds with backgrounds in computer science and math, which comes in pretty handy when you're building a massive collective knowledge project based on machine learning."

Caterina Fake, the genius behind Flickr, launched this start up on June 11th. It will be fun to watch and see if it takes off.

When I asked the Magic 8 Ball about attending my 30th reunion it said "cannot predict now". I wonder what hunch will advise?

Some other sources on hunch:
Hunch Launches Monday - But It Already Knows All About You
hunch fact sheet

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