News

New smartphone app does the thinking for you

Palo Alto software developer hopes cogitation-weary masses will flock to iThink

In what programmers far and wide are hailing as a revolutionary milestone for smartphone technology, a Palo Alto start-up has developed a new app that does all the thinking for its user.

"The app practically made itself," said Paul Haig, vice president for product development at local software developer eBrain. "No, really. Once we got the ball rolling, the app told us, in so many words, to go lounge while it ironed out all the kinks."

Haig said the company built the app, called iThink, to help users wrestle with life's "myriad decisions, both big and small." Users simply answer a series of a few questions about themselves, then iThink's sophisticated algorithm technology computes how the user should think from there on out.

For instance, the app tells them how to feel about the latest movies, establishes their positions on world conflicts, and instructs them on when to tell a noble lie about their spouses' newest outfits. It tells them what basketball teams to root for and even advises them when to get angry about a referee decision.

Currently smartphone and tablet users can choose to receive regular email or text notifications when iThink tells them how they should think about developing matters. Haig said eBrain plans to develop a new version of the app that will silently upload commands directly into the users' brains whenever it generates new opinions.

"At first I was really hesitant to use such an app," said Midtown resident Val Lambert, one of the first residents to download the app. "You know -- I was worried whether it would lead me to the wrong decisions and would take away my free will and all of that.

"But then I just gave it a try, and it's been so wonderful for my time management and peace of mind," she added, after consulting her phone. "I don't have to worry about keeping up with world news or reading about what's good or bad for the environment or figure out what music I should like, even what to tell my kids. The iThink does all of that for me, and it's given me so much freedom not having to think anymore."

Borg Landau, co-founder of eBrain, said the idea for iThink came to him two years ago, while he was browsing Netflix's popular on-demand service and trying to determine what movie to watch. After six hours of browsing, he gave up in frustration and set out to create a program that would make these types of difficult decisions for him.

"This app really changed my life by freeing up my brain for things that really don't require it," Landau said. "It tells me when to call in sick to work, which boxers I should wear around the house and how I should feel about all the stuff in the Middle-East.

"Oops. Gotta go," he said, after looking at his phone. "Looks like I'm hungry."

(Editor's note: Happy April Fools' Day!)

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Early Adopter
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 1, 2011 at 10:24 am

"Haig said eBrain plans to develop a new version of the app that will silently upload commands directly into the users' brains ..."

If you figure it out, I'd like to program my teenager's brain, please. I'll pay a premium!

(I'm not foolin')


Like this comment
Posted by For Wives
a resident of Southgate
on Apr 1, 2011 at 10:27 am

I'd like the version to use on husband. Maybe the trash will finally get put out!!


Like this comment
Posted by porter
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 1, 2011 at 10:57 am

And a happy April Fool's Day to all. Good to see humor is alive and well at the Weekly!


Like this comment
Posted by Oenoman
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 1, 2011 at 12:26 pm

why give away the joke with the tag line at the bottom. what an insult to readers.


Like this comment
Posted by Allen
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 1, 2011 at 12:58 pm

I have been a beta user of this application for some time, and there has never been a beta program. All of my problems have been solved, even before they happen, due to the predictive programming.


Like this comment
Posted by slow news day
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 1, 2011 at 1:06 pm

I love a good prank as much as most, probably mmore.

But after a half dozen postings, I have to wonder if PAOnline misses the point of subtlety.

But I will cruise over to SI later on to see their annual story, maybew it will be Giant related...

Go Gigantes!!


Like this comment
Posted by Marina Lewis
a resident of Stanford
on Apr 1, 2011 at 3:12 pm

HAPPY APRIL FOOLS ! VERY INNOVATIVE!! Loved it.


Like this comment
Posted by Steve C
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 3, 2011 at 10:45 am

Darn, I was about to forward it to every tea party politician I could think of.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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