*Okay, asking actual people is probably a better idea. But this is a tech blog.
Computers. Is there anything they can't do? Each day brings us closer to the time when that answer is truly "no," and today brings us to a particularly momentous milestone: the day we no longer have to decide much of anything for ourselves.
Thanks to the robot overlords behind hunch.com, we can now get automated advice by answering a few simple questions. It combines the fun of online quizzes with the sweet, sweet release of letting others make all of your life decisions for you -- brilliant. To test it, I asked some rather pressing life questions, starting with "Should I get a bear as a pet?" After a few sensible questions, it gave me an answer of "No" with a 66 percent confidence rating -- disappointing, sure, but I have to admit, it's probably the right decision.
I followed that up with some attempts to see how well it knew my home state. Half a dozen questions yielded some solid suggestions for where in Denver I should live -- Five Points, Baker or Wash Park. I don't live in those places, but I totally would. And just two questions about my coffee preferences yielded very solid recommendations, including St. Mark's, my favorite coffeehouse.
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On the other hand, the advice it offered for sights to see in Colorado kind of sucked. A bunch of gold-mining ghost towns and not a single camping destination? Huh? It all comes down to the breadth of the question and how many people have asked it and given feedback -- the more it knows about me and the area, the better decision it will make. In other words, popular questions should trigger more accurate answers -- at least I hope so, since I asked it if I should get married and it offered me a 77 percent assurance I should pop the question. Now I just need a good romantic location to do it in. Hopefully it will have a better suggestion when I ask again next week.