Human Computation Can Solve World's Wicked Problems

Posted: Jan 1 2016, 4:30am CST | by , Updated: Jan 1 2016, 10:11pm CST, in Latest Science News


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Human Computation can Solve World's Wicked Problems
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  • Human-machine superintelligence can solve the world's most dire problems

It is a fact that artificial intelligence can help create a virtual utopia on earth. But it will require cooperation between human beings and machines.

A combination of human and computer intelligence is the way out of the dilemma we face today. Such intractable issues as climate change and international conflict just may have a solution in the computer models and robotics of tomorrow.

The computation involved in this setup is termed crowd-powered systems. This heuristic form of analysis takes on the big problems that have remained unexplored up until now. Human beings are better than machines in many matters.

Simple pattern recognition is very advanced in human beings. And so is creative abstract thought. Both these repertoires are way ahead of computers which are primitive in these departments.

But when human beings and computers interact and meld, the result is phenomenal. These selfsame cognitive abilities can be simulated using computers so that the results start coming in fast.

The traditional methods have pretty much failed. The majority of human-computation systems send bite-sized micro-tasks to many people and later on the individual results are synthesized.

A good example of this is 165,000 participants who analyzed many images online in order to build the globe’s biggest database of human retinal neurons.

Micro-tasking is not up to the mark though. It cannot solve the problems singlehandedly. Something more potent and powerful is needed. As Einstein said, the problems cannot be solved by using the intelligence that generated them in the first place. T

The term “wicked problem” applies to what we are facing today and it is not easily subject to human control. These sort of problems have change as the only constant. They also have unpredictable consequences. The novel human computation technologies can help immensely here.

The most recent technologies are adept at handling vast amounts of data. These data crunching contraptions still have human input somewhere in the loop.

The sort of environment that is being generated via this methodology is very complex. And the level of complexity required to solve the problems of today is not simply beyond our imagination, it cannot be done by all the human beings on earth alone.

It requires the catalyst of computers, whether we like it or not. Whatever the Luddites of yesterday may say, the way back leads straight to the beasts. So that is not a viable option.

This study, published in the journal Science, has been conducted by researchers from the Human Computation Institute (HCI) and Cornell University.

"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."

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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