I think the most interesting topic discussed last Monday was the development of artificial intelligence tools. T.A. McCann, our guest speaker, showed examples of online companies that have been improving programs that aggregate user information. He focused on a project that he is currently working on called Minebox.
Basically, Minebox will be a program to prioritize e-mails and contacts based on the frequency that users correspond, on the number of file’s exchange, and some other features. It will also provide information about the contacts and links to the contact’s personal pages (ex: LinkedIn).
In my opinion, this kind of new tech product is much more effective than the filters that are currently dominant. Filters are supposed to help users to find stuff online but many times end up confusing them. However, I am still not convinced that these programs are able to completely understand and predict personal behavior. I just believe they are excellent gadgets to organize and find information, which is a very-welcome feature in a world where people have been ceaselessly stocking, creating and divulging information.
Although we can publish almost our whole life online (Facebook, LinkedIn, e-mails, blogs, video sharing, and so on), we still have our offline existence, where the most important things actually happen.