Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur
jducoeur

Software old and new 2: Google Prediction API

I hadn't even known about this one when I planned out this morning's posts, but this just dropped into my lap. No shit: Google is helping you predict the future.

The Google Prediction API is one of their new Labs projects, and just makes so much sense it hurts. Google has near-infinite computing power, and loads of experience by now in analytical and predictive techniques. So they're beginning to generalize that into a public API: you feed it data, it learns from that data and susses stuff from it. (Mostly it's about classifying and categorizing information, but they do say themselves that a major usage is prediction. Surely somebody's going to call this thing Crystal Ball by the time it becomes real.)

Their suggested uses on the web page include:
  • Language identification
  • Customer sentiment analysis
  • Product recommendations & upsell opportunities
  • Message routing decisions
  • Diagnostics
  • Document and email classification
  • Suspicious activity identification
  • Churn analysis
There's lots more you could do with it, of course -- basically, they're throwing open some useful basic technology, to see what people so with it.

From Google's POV it's a slam-dunk, and I do expect this one to make it out of the Labs. It's currently free, but of course you are feeding all that yummy data into the great maw of Google. The Terms of Service are reasonable, but I suspect they leave Google some wiggle-room to at least learn from that data, even if they disclaim any rights to the data itself.

Still, this is a neat toy. Ideas of what you might try to use it for?
Tags: technology
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