Blogs Oct 25, 2010 at 3:54 pm


flash. for those that think flash is dead.

wonder what kind of porn search engine this will make
Every time the CEO finished a sentence, I was expecting him to follow with an acronym explanation. It was almost a comic parody of a corporate presentation.

Besides that, I'm not totally against a sexy robot voice reading Wikipedia to me over a possibly-relevant sideshow on the topic.
So it reads you the wikipedia entry and shows you the google image results, is what I'm hearing. With shiny meaningless animation. Lame.
It's shiny, but all I've seen so far is something like google image search mashed up with a robot reading the intro to the wikipedia article, with some maps and a couple nice graphs rendered out of data from the wikipedia article.

My guess: this format will get old quickly, and Qwiki isn't doing anything that couldn't be whipped up by a couple dot-com geeks, a weekend, and a healthy amount of coke -- so if they get bought, it'll be to pick up the name recognition/buzz/whatever, and not for their technology.
@3 wins for speed, with an eerily similar comment to the first half of mine.

My dream come true, is to be able to write, and have it be a movie.

Thanks for the the article, SLOG.
The David LaChapelle article shows another reason the robots aren't taking over just yet -- they haven't learned how to pronounce people's names correctly.
God, that ceo makes me want to claw my brain out. He's all hair and whitened teeth and cheesy salesman. I would like to see what his product does for topics with shitty Wikipedia entries, bad reviews, and controversial subjects. More importantly, how does it drill down to something more specific, like "what is the rate of cancer among workers in Ethiopia?"

My other quick thought is that he's solving a movie/scifi need for agents like Tom Selleck promised us in the ATT commercials, and unless it is truly voice-interactive and deep it won't go very far beyond the geewhiz*shiny phase.
Heh, Q*Bert, I'm glad to see I'm not alone in my estimation of the data sources here.

It looks like the only AI here is probably some logic for guessing whether the topic would be better researched on Wikipedia or IMDB or what. They'd very much like it to seem intelligent but we are so, so, so far away from having AI that can actually understand a question in any meaningful way.

Speaking of which: meaning vs information. This has a ton of the latter and not terribly much of the former. Sure there are a lot of images, but they may or may not be at all relevant to the text, which only divides attention further and, I'd suspect, decreases retention.

The animations also irk the fuck out of me. There's beautiful, wonderful data visualization out there that makes real meaningful use of animation, exemplified here:… I count one meaningful animation in this Qwiki thing, which is the zooming in on the map. Everything else is just distracting glitz.

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