if you build it, they may come — a personal AI with some good ideas ?



mobile phone smarter with Magitti software


Smart Phone Suggests Things to Do

by Kate Green Technology Review: MIT Press


“New software uses artificial intelligence to infer your behavior and serve up appropriate lists of restaurants, stores, and events.

“The mobile phone has long ceased being a simple two-way communication device: today’s handheld is a mini personal computer, complete with multimedia players, maps, and Web browsers. Now researchers at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) . . . have developed software that turns a phone into a thoughtful personal assistant, one that helps people find fun things to do. The software, called Magitti, uses a combination of cues–including the time of day, a person’s location, her past behaviors, and even her text messages — to infer her interests. It then shows a helpful list of suggestions, including concerts, movies, bookstores, and restaurants.

“When a person first opens a phone that has Magitti software, she will instantly see a list of recommendations. If it’s noon, the software might suggest local restaurants. If it’s 3 P.M., it might recommend a nearby boutique for shopping. If it’s 9 P.M., a list of pubs might appear. Over time, these recommendations will change as Magitti learns more about the user’s behaviors and preferences. The software employs artificial-intelligence algorithms that have traditionally been used in research to make tailored recommendations.

* * *

“‘What’s unique is that we’ve tried to build awareness of different kinds of activities,’ says Victoria Bellotti, senior researcher at PARC. ‘We want to find what kind of mode [the user is in]: if they’re hungry, if they’re interested in being entertained … And we’re trying to make this a relaxing interactive experience rather than being bothersome with alerts or requiring you to do searches.'” … (full article)

Image Credit: Technology Review

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Newcomb’s commentary: “Doubt is the father of invention.” Galileo Galilei



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