Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mechanical Turk or how swarms of humans are better than mighty machines

This is a great example of how an objective can be pursued by a group of humans in conjunction with machines. Perhaps that's the way things will be done in the future as opposed to the perhaps inaccessible dream of evolved AI that would be more or less autonomous.

clipped from

The search for Steve Fossett

Turk and rescue

Sep 20th 2007

From The Economist print edition

These pictures of the search area are being provided by two firms that supply information to Google Earth: GeoEye and DigitalGlobe. The search itself is being co-ordinated by a corner of the Amazon empire called Mechanical Turk. This is an online job market which farms out tasks that humans are good at, but for which software is poorly equipped, like labelling images and transcribing speech. For the Fossett hunt, volunteers comb through the images and flag any that include what might be a plane or its wreckage.

The high-tech hunt for a missing adventurer

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