One of the best things about smartphones is their ability to help you get things done. The more useful apps you add to your device, the better the gadget becomes. But a new iPhone app from Clever Sense uses artificial intelligence technology to take service apps to a whole new level of awesome.
Dubbed “Alfred,” the app is marketed as a “personal concierge” that can predict what you’re looking for, even if you aren’t sure yourself. It does so by analyzing the vast amounts of data already available online. And it improves its results by “learning” what you like and don’t like from the choices it gives you, similar to the way the Music Genome Project that powers Pandora radio learns which types of songs you prefer and plays those.
For now, the predictive capabilities of Alfred are limited to four areas: restaurants, bars, nightclubs and coffee shops. But Clever Sense has plans to expand the technology to include a wide variety of other categories, according to a report from Business Insider.
At the heart of Alfred is Clever Sense’s Serendipity Engine, which crawls the Web for data that it can use to fine-tune its search results. This includes things like reviews on Yelp. The Serendipity Engine also harnesses data from social interactions, such as Foursquare check-ins, Facebook “Likes,” and other social data, to further personalize which venues it recommends for each user.
Right now, all the data input into Alfred is anonymous. But the app allows integration with Facebook and Twitter, which may be used to better the results. So if, say, your friends are saying something positive about a particular bar, Alfred will weigh this data heavily in determining which search results it delivers.
Alfred is currently available for free on iTunes. Click here (iTunes link) to get give it a try, and let us know what you think!