A hunch about Hunch

Decision, decisions: What do I fancyfor lunch today? Do I want a girlfriend? What should I do with my life? Too many questions and not enough time for me to resolve them. So what if there were a Website that knew me well enough to automatically answer all my questions? Wouldn’t that be the next big Internet thing, the definitive answer to all our questions?

Divining intent has always been the Holy Grail of academics, doctors, marketers, and snake-oil salesmen. At the beginning of the 20th century, Sigmund Freud founded the school of psychoanalysis, a science of intentionality based on interpretation of dreams. And today, 100 years later, a new generation of quacks has founded a school of crowd-sourced intentionality.

The father of this digital school of intentionality might be Eric Schmidt, the CEO of search engine Google. Back in 2006, when asked by a Financial Times reporter where he wanted Google to be in five years, he answered that he imagined the search engine would become so intelligent that it would know not only what its user wanted to do that afternoon, but also what career they wanted to pursue.

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