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For want of a bit the user was lost: Cheap user modeling

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1 Author(s)
Orwant, J. ; MIT Media Laboratory, 20 Ames Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139-4307, USA

The more a computer knows about a user, the better it can serve that user. But there are different styles, and even philosophies, of how to teach our computers about us-about our habits, interests, patterns, and preferences. "Cheap" user modeling, the subject of this essay, simply means ascertaining a few bits of information about each user, processing that information quickly, and providing the results to applications, all without intruding upon the user's consciousness. In short, there are techniques for personalization that can-and should-be built into today's systems. Like most journal papers, this is a description of an existing system: DOPPELGÄNGER. But it is also an exhortation for readers to incorporate the described techniques and philosophy into their own systems.

Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.  

Published in:

IBM Systems Journal  (Volume:35 ,  Issue: 3.4 )