Humans! Tutor Computers And Robots In Your Spare Time

It may seem like a want ad from the future, but there are positions available now for humans to tutor computer systems in identifying common objects.

Consider the ESP Game, created by Luis von Ahn, an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science. The "game" tricks two gullible human beings into trying to guess what the other is thinking when looking at a particular image. The real intent of the game is to improve the ability of computers to perform Internet image search by generating descriptions of uncaptioned images.

New kinds of games are available, like Tag a Tune, that lets humans describe songs to computers, and Squigl, that encourages frail humans to trace the outlines of objects in photographs to help powerful computers.

Another version of this idea is Amazon's Mechanical Turk program, which provides a programmers API to let computers ask human beings to perform a task - like object identification - that computers are not very good at.

Computers love to digitize books - when a modern font is used with a clear graphic capture, that is. When it comes to older manuscripts, there is another CMU program that uses specialized CAPTCHAs (Completely Automated Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart) called reCAPTCHAS to help computers perform optical character recognition on old books. The little word fragments are taken from books; the method is working - about one million words per day are being deciphered for CMU's book archiving project.


(CAPTCHA-based human-aided Optical Character Recognition)

As far as I know, the first person who suggested this general idea is Harry Harrison, who wrote about it in his 1956 story The Velvet Glove.

"... whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window. You give it a good look, check the list for the proper category if you're not sure, then press the right button and in she goes." An hour passed before he had his first identification to make. A robot stopped in mid-dump, ground its gears a moment, and then dropped a dead cat into Carl's hopper... Something heavy had dropped on the cat, reducing the lower part of its body to paper-thinness.

Castings... Cast Iron... Cats... There was the bin number. Nine.
(Read more about human-based object recognition)

Via Roland; read more about how CAPTCHAs help preserve books and more games with a purpose at Carnegie Mellon University.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/21/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Computer ")

String Art Courtesy Of Robot Artist
The number of different ways to span a thread between a larger number of hooks is astronomical.

Tetraplegics Dominate Avatar Races
Well, just speaking brain-to-computer...

IBM's Grain Of Sand Computer
'Our ancestors... thought to make the very sand beneath their feet intelligent...' - Stanislaw Lem, 1965.

Can An Entire Brain Be Simulated In A Computer?
'The miles of relays and photocells had given way to the spongy globe of platinum iridium about the size of the human brain.' - Isaac Asimov, 1941.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Zephyr Solar-Electric Stratospheric Drone
'The planes flew continuously, twenty-four hours a day...'

Robot Hummingbird Hovers Biomimetically
'With a buzz... it started out on its journey.'

Harvest Water From Air With Sunlight
'The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance.'

Capitalist Big Brother Co-Opts Regular Big Brother
'It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time.'

A Floating Cosmodrome
'...a single perfectly level platform, which rose so high above the water that it was not splashed by the waves.'

First Artificial Memory Formed In Animals
'Is an extra-factual memory that convincing?' Quail asked.

Maintain Your Megastructure
Megastructures have repair robots, which have repair robots, ad infinitum.

Venezuelans Teaching Your Self-Driving Car
‘She wouldn't stop until Antar had told her everything he knew...’

Robothread Robotic Worms Crawling Through Your Brain
Perfect for clot-busting in the human brain. No Raquel Welch and no lasers, though.

Vantablack BMW X6 Is Douglas Adams Approved
'It's so... black!' said Ford Prefect.

Humanoid Robot's Muscles Biomimic Ours
'It is remarkable that the long leverages of their machines are in most cases actuated by a sort of sham musculature...'

Animatronic Robotic Baby Exposed
'The birth of Machine, my robot child...'

Beijing HaiDiLao Robotic Hotpot Restaurant Now Flavored By Artificial Intelligence
'Kantos Kan led me to one of these gorgeous eating places where we were served entirely by mechanical apparatus.'

Plants of the Future - What Should They Be Like
'He almost choked in his astonishment. Mashed potatoes and brown gravy!'

China Deploys Robot Traffic Police
'The robot came up smooth and fast as a rocket...'

Better Than Dune Chromoplastic? This Guy Might Have Done It
'But when Old Father Sun departs, the chromoplastic reverts to transparency in the dark.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.