Why aren't my tools learning?
By searchguy on May 09, 2005
After not attaching a file to an email message to Tim, I sent him an message to which I attached the version of the file that he had sent to me. Another obvious mistake that the mail client could catch.
It points out a kind of general problem: my tools don't learn. They sit there all day, watching me work, but they never really pay attention to what I'm doing. I probably produce hundreds (thousands?) of events every day that could be fodder for any number of machine learning algorithms.
Shouldn't my applications (all of them!) be noticing the directories where I open files and start proposing the directory for a new document when I save it for the first time? Shouldn't my email client notice where I file messages and start offering to file them for me? Shouldn't my IDE notice that when I type the name of a variable that's a java.util.Set I almost always either call add, contains , or iterator?
If you're wondering whether collecting this kind of information and learning from it is useful, simply consider the Google spelling corrector. I'm guessing that they're using a noisy channel model trained on misspellings pulled from their query logs.
Perhaps we can move past desktop search to desktop learning?