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A few days ago I realized that my favorites tags were outdated, I so I went to add new tags based on the answers I've been providing.

That kept me thinking...

Wouldn't be great to have the stackoverflow auto-learning what I'm up to based on the answers I provide? and if I have does answers accepted by the community, add them to my favorites list?

Essential, this is not a big deal, but on the other hand, it is!

Based on this feature, the list of highlighted questions would improve itself based on my demonstrated expertise's, allowing me to focus on the questions I'm really good at!


To better expose the background ideia for this feature:

The engine would keep track of the accepted answers I'm collecting over the time.

After reaching a certain amount of accepted answers with a tag, that tag would become or get suggested to me, to incorporate my favorite tags list.

e.g.,

  • Accepted answer with: PHP JQUERY ANIMATION
  • Accepted answer with: JQUERY JQUERY-UI
  • Accepted answer with: MYSQL
  • Accepted answer with: PHP HTML CSS
  • Accepted answer with: CSS JQUERY DIV

Assuming the mentioned value to be 3, at this point the jQuery tag would be added to my favorite tags or suggested to me by an orange notification bar.

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I just recently learned that it already does this with "frequented tags" (or whatever it was) if you have no favorite tags inserted. Who knew? shrugs –  animuson May 31 '12 at 21:04
    
@animuson: As far as I can tell, this isn't implemented on SO. –  Dennis May 31 '12 at 23:20
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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Wouldn't be great to have the stackoverflow auto-learning what I'm up to based on the answers I provide? and if I have does answers accepted by the community, add them to my favorites list?

I really don't like this idea. The frequented tags @animuson mentioned are already used on SU. I had to favorite the [no-frequented-tags] tag, so the questions list would go all rainbow on me. I'm not against favorite tags in general, but favoriting tags makes little sense on a low traffic site (compared to SO) like SU.

Back to SO and learning:

These types of AI almost never work. Take the touching story My TiVo Thinks I'm Gay for example. With your specific proposal, I see the following potential problems:

  • Questions have more than one tag. You may be able to answer a question based on your knowledge of JS alone, but the algorithm would also count all other tags.

    That's one correct and (up to) four false positives.

  • The questions I actually enjoy answering make up for a small bit of all the questions I've found and answered while I was browsing for questions from the former class.

    Any algorithm would pick the latter questions over the former.

  • There would be a heavy bias towards popular tags, due to the simple fact that there are more questions to answer. Highlighting all question of a popular tag night be the exact opposite of what you want, as they're more prone to produce false positives in general.

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I've improved the question by adding an workable example for this suggestion! It's fairly enough that some will find it useful and others don't, nonetheless, It is a way of having the SO learning with your expertise's and focusing your attention where you are really good at! On the other hand, one could have somewhere a control option for this, thus disabling the feature if one didn't like it! –  Zuul May 31 '12 at 23:55
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I think the favorites are used too differently for this to work. For example, I use the favorite tags on SO and programmers to highlight very specialized questions that I might be able to answer. Usually, there are extremely few questions with these tags, so any algorithm would probably have a hard time estimating what I'd make a favorite. Also, this allows me to simply use the 'favorite tags filter' on SE to get an aggregate of all the questions I might be able to answer.

Also, I think of the favorites as a feature that puts me in control. If there was some algorithm to automate it, I'd feel suppressed. Not sure how many share this sentiment, though.

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