Topper Makes Search Complicated In The Name Of Progress

topper.jpgTopper search offers a search service which….um…machine learning….um something…..results.

Here’s the pitch anyway.

Here is a quick description of how to use it. Enter a search query. Topper Search will go out and get the top 100 results and display the top 10. Select at lease one ‘+’ and one ‘-‘ result. Topper will use machine learning to build a model and classify all 100 results. Use the buttons in the top bar to redorder these results to your taste . Topper will then display the a different top 10 based on your model.

It is great for building ad hoc models for a single search. Try it for disambiguating a query. The stock example I use is ‘lions’ (for the football team or the animal). It can also be used for multiple searches and has a simple persistence mechanism for later use. For example once you have a model built for ‘lions’ try a search for ‘bears’ or ‘eagles’.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. We are building out tools for blogs and news etc using similar machine learning tools.

There’s a PDF on Topper here for those interested.

It sounds cool, but I’m not a coder and this sounds rather complicated. Using it is worse again, after the slow delivery of search results you’re asked to + or – results in an attempt to create better search results (sort of a poor mans Reddit, but more complicated and without the kooks.) Developers and coders may find this interesting so ultimately those of you reading this who are that way inclined can take a look. For the vast majority of the rest of the planet, it comes in on the usability scale at between ZOMG and FAIL. Still, it might take off, maybe the world is looking for a complicated version of Google :-)