Tuesday, April 24, 2007

How To Spot An Idiot

You: "What's the most interesting change on the Web since 2000?"

Idiot: "Ajax."

Smart Person: "Bayes nets."

The next change that we will see with machine learning is the ability to classify people.


  1. Are you spying on my browser history? That's twice in a few days you've blogged on an article I'd just read. Spooky!

  2. Heh. Actually I got that from Raganwald's del.icio.us feed. Maybe I should be, though!

  3. Heh, that's where I got it from as well.

  4. I'm not sure I agree 100% (and that is in spite of having to regularly deal with idiots who request "Ajax" as though it were a useful thing in and of itself. Ajax can be used to provide more usable interfaces. Bayesian filtering can be hooked into an application with a god-awful interface.

    If something can't be used, the back-end is a tree in an empty forest.

  5. I think Ajax is awesome. But it's the shallow end of the pool. The most you can do with Ajax is create a user experience almost as good as what people considered the bare minimum before the Web. The most you can do with Bayes nets is as yet undefined, but so far includes at least recommendation engines and powerful spam filters. The broader category of statistical AI holds even more promise.


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