eBay buys Decide.com; co-founder Etzioni heading up AI institute

eBay has acquired Seattle-based price-prediction startup Decide.com, and the service will shut down on Sept. 30. The entire team will head over to eBay to help the e-commerce giant improve its experience through predictive modeling. The entire team except Co-founder and CTO Oren Etzioni, that is: the University of Washington computer science professor, Madrona Venture Group partner and former Farecast founder is heading up Paul Allen’s new Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence.

Oren Etzioni

Oren Etzioni

Is this data scientist a consumer’s best friend?

In Oren Etzioni’s world, telling you where to buy a product is so 20 years ago. Today, Etzioni wants to tell you when to buy. Tomorrow, well, maybe he can let you know when you’re in the vicinity of a great deal.

The government doesn’t want to mess up on big data

The federal government talked a lot about grand scientific visions when it unveiled its big data agenda last week, but the government has consumers on its mind, too. Specifically, it doesn’t want to unduly hinder innovation, and it might even be willing to provide data.