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Human Computation for Google Images!

Discussion in 'Coffee Corner' started by Sadik, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. Sadik

    Sadik Community Moderator Forum Guru

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    Have you ever used Google Images for image search. If you have, you would know that Google is impeccably able to find you images you look for? Ever wondered how Google can "tell what an image is about?" The results you get are from a very very smart idea utilizing Human Computation.

    Roughly Human Computation refers to the enormous computational abilities that human beings have with which they can easily solve a problem which computers just cannot. Let's take an example. We all use the internet for various reasons and chances are we all sign up on many websites and fill out a registration form. There at the end of the registration form you will find a distorted image which asks you to read one word (or two!, think facebook!) basically to confirm that you are human and not some malicious bot. So a human being can easily "compute" the contents of the distorted image while computers cannot.

    Google Images search results utilize this superb human computation power. Here's how? Ever heard of gwap.com? If you have you know what I am talking about. If not, read on! Researcher Luis von Ahn at Carnegie Mellon University came up with the brilliant idea of packaging the task of labeling images in a game. It's called the ESP Game. It is a two player online game where one player is randomly paired with any other player from around the globe. The players cannot communicate with each other. Both players are shown a random image from the web and they have to AGREE on a common term about the image. For example, if both players are seeing the image of a man walking a dog, they may both independently guess "MAN" or "DOG" or "WALK" etc. If they both agree on a word they both get a bunch of points!

    Genius isn't it! So while people are having lots of fun guessing words with total strangers, millions of images are getting labelled!!! Once some common words get listed against an image, they become "TABOO" words, that is, both users can't enter these words.

    Brilliant isn't it! Then again there are other games at GWAP which are used in other ways to establish where each objects are in a image and even gather common sense facts from people to develop Artificial Intelligence for computers.

    Watch this video of the lecture on Human Computation!

  2. tyro

    tyro Forum Genius

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    hi.. i just saw the lecture and boy it was cool! really nice concept. Just goes on to show that if we choose to implement something smartly, even complicated problems can be fun and simple!