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Matthew Hurst
Scientist at Microsoft's MSN; co-creator of BlogPulse. I blog at
Interests: strategy, computational linguistics, weblogs, artificial intelligence, data/text mining, gis, social media.
Recent Activity
There has been a lot of commentary recently on issues relating to an experimental chat bot that Microsoft has (or had) launched named (after, perhaps, a river in Scotland) Tay. After a brief existence online, the bot was removed due... Continue reading
The web search industry is making great progress in transitioning from building tools for finding pages and sites to building tools that leverage and surface facts and knowledge. The local search space - where I work in Bing - is... Continue reading
The Economist leads with an editorial and an article on The Dawn of Artificial Intelligence. The editorial starts of with: “THE development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race,” Stephen Hawking warns. Elon Musk fears... Continue reading
The Turing Test for artificial intelligence is a reasonably well understood idea: if, through a written form of communication, a machine can convince a human that it too is a human, then it passes the test. The elegance of this... Continue reading
When we see an act of programming, screeds of code or other interactions with computers in movies, software engineers are likely to roll their eyes. When Chappie's coder has to write 'terabytes of code' When Ford's computer guy has to... Continue reading
In sympathy with yesterday's post about AI as presented in films, consider this recent article from the Wall Street Journal: Artificial Intelligence Experts are in High Demand. A list of mostly machine learning experts is produced as evidence for the... Continue reading
When something doesn't exist (like artificial intelligence) it's easy to think that there is some missing piece of magic required to bring it in to existence. There has been a growing interest in movie depictions of AI of late, and... Continue reading
There are lots of articles online of the form - humanity has built some amazing things, so why haven't we produced an artificial intelligence? These articles (here's an example) often include some discussion of a task that even a very... Continue reading
After getting a hint of this a few months ago, I've finally tracked down an image of a stamp that will be released this year to celebrate the invention of the World Wide Web using an image I created. Here's... Continue reading
Sometimes a title for a blog posts suggests itself to me which seems so self contained that it takes real effort to actual write the post ('Machine Intelligence, not Machine Learning is the Next Big Thing' is another in this... Continue reading
Bing's prediction team has a feature live on the site right now that predicts Scotland will not become an independant nation as a result of today's referendum. Continue reading
While Google has been doing a great job of their front page animations (today's is very nice, illustrating how Brazil and The Netherlands are on their way to Russia for 2018), Bing appears to be far more attentive to actually... Continue reading
The rationale behind mining business data directly from the business's own website is that the business has a clear economic motivation to ensure that the data is up to date. If you own a restaurant that changes location, and your... Continue reading
Briefly - Hopper is something new in the travel / local space. In their own words: What if you could plan an amazing trip based on a vague idea — like “spring surfing in California” or “Mediterranean cruise”? What if... Continue reading
Briefly - Wakako gave me (actually us) a FitBit for Christmas. This is a great product if you are (like me) motivated by data to take action. While I appreciate the device design (small but functional), I really like the... Continue reading
Information is Beautiful is a thought provoking labour of love by one of the first true data journalists, David McCandless. It is a simply structured collection of graphical interpretations of a variety of interesting statistics, factoids and opinions. It is... Continue reading
Knoema is another data engine (it's probably time for some sort of bake-off evaluation among these services). In their own words and pictures: Continue reading
A while back, I wrote for some time on this blog about 'data engines' - search engines dedicated to online (statistical) data sets. These included BuzzData (now closed, transmogrified into LookBookHQ) Timetric Socrata Google Correlate Zanran DataMarket EidoSearch and... Continue reading
The original proposition of a web search engine was to help you find the answer to your information need in a page or site on the web: if someone has already solved your problem, let us help you find their... Continue reading
Last night I shutdown This was a site that I used to demonstrate a number of experimental systems that I'd been playing with. These included: A search engine for tabular data (indexing over 1 million time series) A specialized... Continue reading
Infogroup - one of the leading providers of business listings - has an interesting post on their site about the problem of errors in local data. In this article they talk specifically about the error of business closure and the... Continue reading
I play football (soccer) every week in a recreational indoor league. While this is a pretty hectic game with no real time to breathe, I've noticed a few patterns that, in the moment, convince me that there should be a... Continue reading
I recently came across a new startup product called The product provides a site wrapping tool which allows anyone to create wrappers for sites with repeated structured information and thereby access the data on the site. For example, one... Continue reading
I recently received a copy of Numbersense by Kaiser Fung for review. Fung is the author of a blog I have a lot of respect for : Junk Charts. The current post at the top of Junk Charts is about... Continue reading
I recently wrote about the changes observed in Google's local search product on the web over the course of a year. This year, Google has rolled out some changes to their web based experience that indicate some healthy experimentation with... Continue reading