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The Machine that Understands

I would like a way to filter the web based on my own personality and experience.  For example, when I go to Mashable and read and article that first explain a technology (e.g. an RSS reader) then goes into the story I'd rather not have to even see it because I know what an RSS reader is.  But, should a filter remove the article all together, or simply "fold" that opening paragraph.  This is probably a ridiculous idea, but I wade through blogs, online magazine and newspaper articles and basic web sites, and I get cranky when I have to figure out what portions are interesting.  I have an idea how to do this.  It'd something I have been thinking about for a while, but it's a very small piece of a larger intelligent system I've been thinking about.

The larger idea is to have my computer study what I am doing when I'm on my Mac and find automatically things that might interest me.  This model works just as well with the desktop as it does the web.  More than simply clicking on spotlight or doing an explicit search via the file browser, this system would find things automagically from my Mac as well as the Web depening on how it perceives me.  The reason this is not simply a web technology is because I have so many documents I've written and downloaded and I can't remember what the hell I have on my hard drive.  My Mac could just make intelligent suggestion in parallell to what I am doing.

Because I have so many different interests, I thought it might be interesting to tell this software that today I feel like learning more about, say, Atronomy.  So as I read things, do web searches, or just click links at random (like just wandering whimsically about the web), or say just using Stumble to pull up things for me.  Yes, stumble looks for stuff based on keywords "interests", but it does it absently.  It will find websites about atronomy, but it won't understand that I am clicking links about a particular thing, such as galaxies and super novae.  Even Zemanta, which is cool, doesn't do a very good job at understanding what I am writing in my blog.  Of course it could be that what I am writing makes little sense.  Perhaps I am tasking the Zemanta engine to its limits (probably not).

So this is all a pipe dream and at some point, hopefully before I die, I imagine that there will be intelligent machines that make what I want a reality.  But who knows.  Maybe this idea is just silly.


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