April 8, 2006

ce n'est pas une advertisment

Mycroft is an interesting experiment in mobilizing the distributed brainpower of web surfers to do useful work in microchunks. In its current incarnation, it looks a lot like a banner ad network, except that you interact with it on the hosting site. For example:

The idea is that people who contribute by solving these little puzzles will get incentive prizes, hosting sites will get a cash bounty, and people with large, tedious parallelizable workloads that need human processing, will pay to get the collective eyes of the web on their problems. It seems like a pretty good idea, I hope it can succeed.

I do wonder how Mycroft will ensure high quality and accuracy; presumably they will have some statistical (and linguistic?) models for sorting out distributions of answers from a sufficiently large set of responses. And I hope they are planning to try some different graphical formats, as the current banners look so much like ads and would seem too easy to ignore.

[via Future Now]

Posted by Gene at April 8, 2006 2:35 PM