Daniel Von Fange

Life, Code, and Cool Stuff

A New Use for a Trainable Spam Filter

I have some pretty smart, usually unconventional siblings. I just found out the latest example of it at supper.

My little sister realized that the spam filter built into Mac Mail, is really just a trainable “pet”. Since she does not get spam mail, she did not want it to go to waste. Elizabeth actually trained it to sort out her mailing list subscriptions from her personal email. By pressing “Junk” on all her notifications, newsletters, and daily comics, she has her “pet” putting the email where she wants it. (Her rambling post about it)

I wonder if you could just use a bunch of bayesian filters instead of more traditional rules in mail applications. Would probably be easier to learn, and possibly more effective.

“Here is line of dog houses. A dog lives inside each one. When you drag a email into a dog house, the dog knows he is supposed to look for email like the one you gave him. When a new email comes in, the dogs go and look at it, and the one that the email belongs to takes it back with him. Sometimes a dog may grab the wrong email, but all you have to do is take it to the right dog and the right dog will learn and be more likely to pick it up next time.”

Update: After night of “Sleeping on it”, I still think this is an awesome thing.