by Staff Writers
Ithaca NY (SPX) Jan 01, 2016
The combination of human and computer intelligence might be just what we need to solve the "wicked" problems of the world, such as climate change and geopolitical conflict, say researchers from the Human Computation Institute (HCI) and Cornell University.
In an article published in the journal Science, the authors present a new vision of human computation (the science of crowd-powered systems), which pushes beyond traditional limits, and takes on hard problems that until recently have remained out of reach.
Humans surpass machines at many things, ranging from simple pattern recognition to creative abstraction. With the help of computers, these cognitive abilities can be effectively combined into multidimensional collaborative networks that achieve what traditional problem-solving cannot.
Most of today's human computation systems rely on sending bite-sized 'micro-tasks' to many individuals and then stitching together the results. For example, 165,000 volunteers in EyeWire have analyzed thousands of images online to help build the world's most complete map of human retinal neurons.
This microtasking approach alone cannot address the tough challenges we face today, say the authors. A radically new approach is needed to solve "wicked problems" - those that involve many interacting systems that are constantly changing, and whose solutions have unforeseen consequences (e.g., corruption resulting from financial aid given in response to a natural disaster).
New human computation technologies can help. Recent techniques provide real-time access to crowd-based inputs, where individual contributions can be processed by a computer and sent to the next person for improvement or analysis of a different kind. This enables the construction of more flexible collaborative environments that can better address the most challenging issues.
This idea is already taking shape in several human computation projects, including YardMap.org, which was launched by the Cornell in 2012 to map global conservation efforts one parcel at a time.
"By sharing and observing practices in a map-based social network, people can begin to relate their individual efforts to the global conservation potential of living and working landscapes," says Janis Dickinson, Professor and Director of Citizen Science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
YardMap allows participants to interact and build on each other's work - something that crowdsourcing alone cannot achieve. The project serves as an important model for how such bottom-up, socially networked systems can bring about scalable changes how we manage residential landscapes.
HCI has recently set out to use crowd-power to accelerate Cornell-based Alzheimer's disease research. WeCureAlz.com combines two successful microtasking systems into an interactive analytic pipeline that builds blood flow models of mouse brains.
The stardust@home system, which was used to search for comet dust in one million images of aerogel, is being adapted to identify stalled blood vessels, which will then be pinpointed in the brain by a modified version of the EyeWire system.
"By enabling members of the general public to play some simple online game, we expect to reduce the time to treatment discovery from decades to just a few years", says HCI director and lead author, Dr. Pietro Michelucci.
"This gives an opportunity for anyone, including the tech-savvy generation of caregivers and early stage AD patients, to take the matter into their own hands."
Human Computation Institute
All about the robots on Earth and beyond!
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|