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Ask Me Three Questions And Tell Me What I Need

Questions and answers help artificial intelligence and machine learning platforms learn more about you. Despite concerns about prying into peoples' personal preferences, Google and others will tell you that the answers to those questions provide better results in search queries or services. Such is the case for Google's "Which Phone" and Achieve Lending's lending search engine. Here's how.

Google released a tool that tells consumers which Android phone to use. The "Which Phone" Web tool helps to narrow down the choices. It presents a question-and-answer format to learn more about the user. It begins with broad categories such as photography, playing games, listening to music, or visiting social media sites. Depending on the three categories that the user chooses, the tool will ask more questions to narrow down the choices. 

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Which Phone present a list of candidates. The characteristic are listed for each smartphone, allowing users to compare. The lists are narrowed by selecting carrier, size, and price. Save the results to a shopping list, share it on social networks, or send the list to yourself via email.

Google is not the only company using this format. Even startups are paying more attention to personalization. Achieve Lending is an online loan tool that relies on search engine and machine learning technology to compare and select the best loans for site visitors. Most of of the loans focus on education, but the site also aggregates lenders for car loans, home mortgages, business loans and more.

The company partnered with financial institutions to help student find the financing, explains Allen Kors, founder and CEO at Achieve Lending. It works with lenders such as Lending Club, College Ave, and Avant Credit, relying on referrals or funded applications from lenders to generate revenue.

The site, which launched in April, also has an affiliate marketing program hosted on Conversant-owned CJ Affiliate with nearly 1,900 publishers; the partnerships based on revenue share between 30% and 35%.

It's a twofold strategy for the company. Kors wants to give borrowers better rates, and to provide lenders with options to reach those borrowers. "All lenders can't rank within the first few listings on google.com, particularity for mobile," he said. "You can't use Google to look up the more than 45 lenders we work with. It takes too long."

The site presents figures like interest rates and monthly terms for each lender to determine the best rate. Similar to Google's "Which Phone" tool, Achieve Lending asks three questions and returns a handful of options and terms for each.

 

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