10:37:06 am on December 29, 2008 | # |
Since we went into beta about three weeks ago, we’ve faced a lot of confusion, prejudice as well as grossly un-informed guesses as to how Filttr might be working to do what we promise – make sense of your Twitter stream. Most people who join us think that we’re a simple friend-rating based system, owing to our iconic sliders; tweets from friends with lower priority get filtered more often than higher prioritized ones. While this is true, because let’s face it, that is the definition of priority, a lot *more* happens in the back to decide which tweets do get pushed through. A simple exercise to see the non-priority part work is to set all your friends to ‘normal’, and visit your timeline. You will see tweets still getting filtered. How does that work?
Filttr Artificial Intelligence (or FLAI, as we lovingly call it), is our smart engine working at the back to constantly understand what interests you or catches your fancy. While I cannot explain exactly how it goes about doing that, let’s just say it is a pattern recognition system. Looking at your tweets, replies and favourites, FLAI tries to determine all that it can about you. Then, when a stream of tweets comes in, it sets about comparing those patterns to this stream, ranking the tweets based on their relevance to you. Then a few basic sorting techniques later, your stream is ready to be pushed to you.
When you sign up with us, we tell you that your keywords are being generated. That is when FLAI sets about performing all sorts of cutting and dicing around your timeline. From then on, every time a tweet goes through us, it passes through FLAI so that it can add this new information about to what it already knows. That’s why, it’s a little important you send your updates through us. By doing that, you’ll be helping FLAI stay up-to-date on you. That’ll result in maximum accuracy.
We have big plans for FLAI, where we hope to make it accurate enough so that you won’t have to look at your normal Twitter timeline at all, and trust what it shows you. While we add all sorts of features to Filttr, at its core, it is still a way to cut out the real conversation and important stuff, and everything aside, FLAI remains a work in progress we are proud of.
And you thought it was all about pushing a slider back and forth, didja?