by Lonnie Shektman
Despite development of increasingly intelligent computers, scientists from Cornell University and the Human Computation Institute in Fairfax, Va., say that they wouldn’t leave the task of solving the world’s most complex problems – from environmental to economic to social – to computers alone.
Instead, the researchers call for a sophisticated form of “human computation,” a computer science technique that taps the strengths of humans and computers to accomplish tasks that neither can do alone. A human-computer collaborative system could incorporate human experiences, reason, and creativity into computer intelligence to solve the world’s most nuanced problems, say researchers in a column published in the January 1 issue of the journal Science.
Today, human computation works when computers assign micro tasks to many people, or to sets of people who can analyze and improve on preceding contributions. Wikipedia is an example of how this works. So is reCAPTCHA, a Google security feature websites use to weed out spammers, and the search giant simultaneously uses to collect wisdom from the crowds.
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