Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Just Attention

Craig Barnes on Clickstreams
Attention is NOT Click Streams

The idea of automating attention gathering and processing seems like a big deal. Those that learn to do it well could very well become powerful people, and a lot of work is going into streamlining this technology. I'm seeing, though, that most of the effort is being put into fine details and the big picture is being left to grow unmanaged. It is important to know what is attention, what it can and cannot/should and should not be used for, and how the data can be managed.

Many of these answers become apparent when we realize what we are doing. We are automating a process. Attention gathering and processing already happens, just not automatically. Have you ever spent time with someone and eventually you start to see what is important to them. You start to be able to predict what they will do in situations you have never seen them in. This is attention processing. Now train a machine to do what you already know how to do.

Attention is given to everything that is considered in an act or decision. Unfortunately, we don't yet have access to the mind's decision making processes so we have to make do with observing the act that results from the decision that results from the consideration. With enough observations from enough acts we can model the actor's priorities so that we may better serve them.

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