Alfred is an iPhone app that simplifies questions about where to go and what to eat by applying artificial intelligence and data analysis. Built on top of the Clever Sense platform, the technology has been called a “Pandora for the Real World.”
In order to learn about a user’s likes and dislikes, Alfred asks a number of questions, such as “What is one of your favorite places for weekend brunch?” After an answer, it guesses at other good spots. This process can be repeated as much as desired. The more Alfred is taught about preferences, the better its recommendations are.
Suggestions from Alfred are highly contextual, considering who diners are with, where they are, and what they are looking for. A typical query to the app looks like this: I’m interested in a place for dinner that is similar to the Spotted Pig, serving burgers, is moderately priced, and has happy hours. Simple suggestions are also offered via subject panels. By tapping these, users can flip through the best matches for dessert, lunch, coffee & tea, and more. Yelp, Citysearch, and Facebook integrations are all central to the service, as is additional information including contact details, relevant photos, and menus.
At this point, recommendations aren’t quite spot on, but the implications of the service outshine any freshman hiccups. Smart suggestions have the potential to easily translate to other industries, and could serve to greatly alter search paradigms.