Google Talks: Human Computation

A Google Talk from Luis von Ahn, an assistant professor in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University, where he also received his Ph.D. in 2005. The video is already two years old, but the subject is still very interesting.

The basic idea is to use “wasted human cycles”, as Luis calls them, to solve problems computers can’t solve yet. Luis defines our interactions with computers to be very parasitic (in which we are the parasites) and wants to shift it to a more symbiotic relationship. In order to show how important and relevant the topic is, Luis goes on to compare how much time people played solitaire online to how much time it took to build the Empire State Building.

Luis is a very good speaker, which makes this talk even more interesting. It’s easy to follow, with just the right amount of details, you’ll see, it’s hard to stop watching! Let me know what you think.


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