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6/22/2009: A first look at hunch.com

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I just took a quick look at hunch.com, one of several new decision engines that is intended to help users answer questions (unlike a traditional search engine, which simply posts links to sites that match search queries).

While this sounds like a good idea, I've yet to find a decision engine that provided really useful results. 

To test hunch, I tried the decision aid 'What's the best dog breed for me?' posted by hunch staffer Jonathan Russell:

hunch.com/dog-breeds

The results came nowhere near matching my preferences.  In contrast, try the Dog Breed Selection on the Iams.com website, which consistently gives detailed and accurate results:

iams.com/iams/breed-information.jsp

Hunch seems to be based on the decision-tree technique, taught in basic computer science classes as much as 30 years ago.  It relies on a community of users to enhance the decision aids and lead to more accurate answers.  It's cute, but unfortunately it just doesn't lend itself to useful or accurate results.


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