I've been thinking about what I'd like computers to be able to do. I'd like to be able to say (or type, or somehow communicate) the following things to a computer and for it to magically give me good responses.
- I'd like to buy a Christmas present for my friend <name>. What are some good ideas?
- I'm really tired and want to watch a light movie. Show me some options.
- I need a book that will last me for a month-long trip. Non-fiction, preferably.
- My favorite dress was ruined, what's a good replacement?
- I'd like to try a new hobby, what might I like?
- I have five minutes before my interviewer calls. Give me something distracting.
- I'm taking <name> out to dinner, where might they like to go? Romantic but not pricey.
Siri is a great step toward intelligent responses, but there are still lots of limits. The technology needs to know about lots of different things it doesn't really consider right now. Your moods, preferences, present company (and their moods/preference), and even current location or time of day. I think sufficient data exists, even if it isn't public--think about Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Netflix, Amazon wishlists and browsing history, and browsing history in general. We could use bookmark information, email, blogs, and on top of that, users are usually more than happy to answer questionnaires...people love exploring themselves. Hunch is a great example of a recommendation system for everything, but I think I want a system that's a mash-up between Hunch and Siri.
I'm trying to define the bounds of this system in my head. What should it be capable of and what is too much? I know what I would want it to do, but I don't know what other people might want to use it for. So this is my question to you: what would you like to ask a computer that it can't currently answer? Can you give me example queries?