Human computation - sometimes called crowd computing - is the emerging designation for projects that employ thousands of volunteers to work with computers on small elements of a bigger problem. For instance, the approach often used in studies where huge batches of images need to be individually analyzed by, you know, actual people.
Researchers have long realized that, for certain tasks, the human brain is vastly superior than even the fastest and most sophisticated computer or artificial intelligence. When there's a huge amount of data to be parsed, however, practical problems emerge: Research teams only have so many human brain-hours to work with.
But what if we could get tireless A.I. and efficient crowdsourcing to work together?
A.I. Takes A Stroll Through Amsterdam
That's the concept behind an article published this week in the journal Science, in which researchers propose a new vision for the future of human computation. By more effectively combining computer intelligence and human intelligence, we could set these hybrid computational systems to work on our most intractable planetary problems - like disease, climate change and geopolitical strife.