Word mapping has been seen on the net in the Visual Thesaurus, and you’ve been able to see what other people who have a book you have also like to read at Library Thing, and now the two are twain. From Gnod, an artificial intelligence experiment (brings to mind past days in class with John Searle), comes the Literature Map: type in an author and out spring spider legs of effervescent words to create a surreal family tree depicting “what else do readers of X read?” Then, just keep clicking and traveling.
There’s also a book suggester where you first must teach Gnod about what you like by entering three of your favorite authors, before out pops a suggestion. For instance with entries of “Haruki Murakami,” “William Faulkner,” and “Ann Patchett,” out pops Alice Munro. Not bad.
Here’s how the site says it got it’s start: Gnod is a self-adapting system that learns about the outer world by asking its visitors what they like and what they don’t like. Gnod is kind of a search engine for books, music, and movies you don’t know about. It will ask you what you like and then think about what you might like too. When gnod came online its database was completely empty. Now it contains thousands of bands/movies/books and quite some knowledge about who likes what. And gnod learns more every day.
Try it for books, movies, music . . . it was for a moment an amusing diversion. Just for fun, try “God”–I’d never have guessed Henry Rollins would appear.