Sunday, February 20, 2005

[tech] Harnessing the Power of "Really Bored People" [tm]

Just saw an article on Wikipedia about Clickworkers, an app by NASA where anybody could come in and identify craters on Mars:

There are many scientific tasks that require human perception and common sense, but may not require a lot of scientific training. Identifying craters on Mars is something almost anyone can do, and classifying them by age is only a little harder.

Reminds me of the ESP game, where people play a game to label images on the web.

From a research perspective, lots of interesting questions:

  • What other kinds of apps fall in this design space?
  • How good are the results (generally speaking)?
  • Are there areas in ubicomp where we can apply these same techniques?

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