Is personalized news search good enough? NO! No, it’s not, and no offense to the computer programmers at the major search engines, but again they are algorithm writers, perhaps not news junkies. Of course, that’s only one problem with the current system. Another is that as these algorithms attempt to use mass numbers of queries and choices, this channels the user’s choices and information. It then becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy that the system is working to everyone’s satisfaction, it’s not.
In fact, it is funneling the online community’s minds into a box, a dangerous box, devoid of individualism and original thinking, so not only is this a serious philosophical conundrum, but it also becomes of the utmost importance for the future of humanity. That is to say; this is no joke anymore. Worse, not only do the major search engines use such strategies, but now the major social networks are getting into the delivery of news and information based on what all the other users with a relatively percentage of queries and subsequent choices Pimpandhost .
Folks, this isn’t good enough, and it’s not good for our future. It’s just not acceptable. What we will inevitably create if we continue on this path is a Borg society of online users. Now then, no offense to the brilliant computer scientist utopia builders, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves or forget that “the road to hell is always paved by the greatest of all intentions.”
Why am I making this such a big to do you ask? Well, it’s like this, I value original thought, and yes, I’d love to have all the world’s information at my fingertips and save time in retrieving it, but if we are to combine the best human minds with the greatest algorithm that our top computer scientists can offer then we need to rethink the process, yes from the drawing board. Do I have all the answers? No, not yet, not even the best answer to that last question.
There is a very interesting research paper worthy of mention on this topic done by some researchers at Google in March of 2007 titled; “Google News Personalization: Scalable Online Collaborative Filtering,” by Abhinandan Das, Mayur Datar, Ashutosh Garg, and Shyam Rajaram. This research paper notes;
“Search engines help solve the former problem; particularly if you are looking for something specific that can be formulated as a keyword query. However, in many cases, a user may not even know what to look for. Often this is the case with things like news, movies etc., and users instead end up browsing sites like Google News, Netflix, etc., looking around for things that might ‘interest them’ with the attitude: Show Me Something Interesting.”