Interesting, but Flawed, Concept

I ran across an interesting concept the other day called the Literature Map, a German (I think) project based on the Gnod program for artificial intelligence. Basically, what you do is type an author's name in and they create a map relating them to other authors. The closer they are to someone else, the more similar they are (supposedly). For example, when you type in the author Nick Hornby, he is close to John Irving and David Sedaris, yet quite far away from Jane Austen. I can live with that. The flawed part of this is the fact that he is just as far away from Austen as he is from Jane Fielding, the author of Bridget Jone's Diary. Both Hornby and Fielding are humorous, modern, British authors- they should be closer.

While the system is definitely not perfect, it is fun to play aroun
d with. Here are a few (blurry) screen shots from my searches (first one is the search screen with Jeffrey Eugenides, the second is his map, and the third is an interestingly skewed map of Shakespeare):

I didn't go through the trouble to do any cropping- it's a good thing I didn't have any porn open... Anyway, if you have a few minutes check it out- they also have engines for movies and music (the music is even more flawed; you type in three bands that you like and it gives you a suggestion. I entered Metallica, Alice in Chains, and Rage Against the Machine and it suggested I listen to Kylie Minogue).


  1. It suggested Kylie Minogue?? Huge glich...someone needs to be fired for not doing their job.

  2. yes, good thought. not quite accurate... it's a start?