Reading daily horoscopes of your Sun sign written in the margins of magazine can be big a turn off for the astrology-obsessed, and hiring a personal astrologer can be a hefty business.
So three friends named Banu Guler, Ben Weitzman, and Anna Kopp decided to take it to whole new level. The trio spent months studying the art of astrology and then trained an AI program they developed. Later in October, they launched the resulting app, Co—Star.
"Everyone looks at their Broadly horoscopes and their Susan Miller horoscopes, looks up their natal charts on these outdated sites from the '90s, and knows when Mercury is in retrograde. But there wasn't really an app that comes at astrology the way everyone we know has been talking about it."
The app creators say the app’s algorithm, takes into account of factors such as position of Moon, the other planets in the solar system, and the 12 Houses of the Zodiac—each represents a different part of life, like relationships, work, and home.
To get their horoscope, users have to enter their date, time and place of birth so the app has the complete chart. The app’s engine then pulls in data from NASA to track planets as they move. Co—Star then generates a daily horoscope based on the information and shows how the movement of start would affect the user. Friends can add each other and compare their charts and check their compatibility.
The trio researched heavily on astrology and got in touch with professional astrologers to know about how they interpret different celestial events.
"We ended up having to find a lot of paper books, which was a funny thing to have to translate into algorithms," Guler said. "We then assign astrological meanings to the different relationships in this data and our program generates text based on those meanings," she added.
The trio claims their horoscopes are "unprecedented" because of the amount of detail their AI takes into account. However, an engine might hold back on one of the fundamental aspects of astrology, Gat added. And algorithms are still prone to human bias. Also artificial intelligence could take us away from astrology’s roots.
"What's fun about astrology is that it's a form of storytelling. It's based on mythology and part of what makes it fun is the human element."
"There is a huge gap between the infinite chaos and beautiful complexity of a human mind and a robot," Guler noted. "We're instead hoping to occupy a position between having personal astrologers and mass media horoscopes."...