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Mozilla Unveils Advance, An Experimental Machine Learning-Driven Firefox Extension


The internet is quite a big place and like the popular saying goes, you can virtually spend your life on it. The thing about spending a lot of time is that we visit just a few (popular however) sites. In fact with respect to apps, majority of app users spend 80 percent of their time in just five apps.

Well Mozilla wants to change all that with their experimental Firefox Test Pilot program called Advance. According to a blog post by the internet company, “you can explore more of the web efficiently, with real-time recommendations based on your current page and your most recent web history. The statement added that “With Advance we’re taking you back to our Firefox roots and the experience that started everyone surfing the web. That time when the World Wide Web was uncharted territory and we could freely discover new topics and ideas online. The Internet was a different place.”

Advance works by learning the sites or content you frequently visit on the web and then make recommendations to you in a “Read Next” sidebar.

For instance, if you frequently visit sites that show you restaurants, the Read More sidebar will not just tell you more but quickly provide you with more information about similar sites that can provide you the same information. This to give you more information in order to make an informed decision on where to visit.

That said, Advance may not also bring up suggestions you may eventually like which is why they give you three options of “Not interested,” “off topic/spam,” and “block site.” Depending on what you choose, the browser will learn to eliminate it or add it to future results.

This program is intended to improve your web surfing experience by providing you with fresh content each time you’re online.

For advertisers, there may be a future opportunity in that some sites may want to pay to pop up in the Advance sidebar more often than other websites even though I don’t’ see that happening anytime soon though. However, this also helps in fighting fake news in a way too by only providing you content from trusted sites.

To try out this feature, you will have to visit Firefox’s website to sign up for the Test Pilot program.

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