Computerworld

Mozilla on Thursday announced a new initiative designed to guide Firefox users to relevant websites without relying on search engines. Dubbed Content Graph, the project was characterized by a Mozilla executive as a better forward button for the browser. What if there was a better forward button? One that helps you understand a topic better or find alternative solutions to a problem youre solving? asked Nick Nguyen, who leads Firefox s product and user experience (UX) teams, What if web browsers were immediately useful instead of demanding input when you launched them? Elsewhere, Nguyen labeled the plan as the recommender system for the web, and described how it might rely on things like browser histories and user locations as a way to, if not outright predict Firefox users next steps, then be ready to offer pertinent destinations. While other technology companies, including Apple, Facebook and Google, have touted more ambitious predictive assistance tools that leverage massive amounts of data and elements of artificial intelligence, Mozilla lacks the scale -- either in user numbers or finances -- to follow that path. Instead, the graph will tap the Firefox user pool to fuel the content placed under, presumably, the browsers Forward button. Nguyen did not provide details of what information, exactly, will be collected from users, how that will be used to put an augur in the browser that will offer links without customer input, or even whether the project would result in a Firefox-only feature or one offered as some kind of add-on to browsers in general. In fact, Nguyen had more questions than answers, signaling that Mozilla might itself not yet know where the experiment will take it, nor whether the idea can be translated into a concrete product.

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