Crowdsourcing is now being leveraged in several fields, as I had the opportunity of posting from time to time. There is also another trend developing, the mixing of biological intelligence with the computer based intelligence (AI…).
Add these two trends together and you understand what researchers at Rochester University are doing with their Chorus system.
Crowdsourcing has started as a way to amass the wisdom of many people using mechanisms to average out the responses and to pick those that might be most valuable. What Chorus does is to intercept chat discussion to extract the most meaningful answer to a query.
Chorus is a crowd powered chat system where the computer (Chorus) is actually the one chatting with you as you voice (type) your queries. The perception is to be talking to a real person, since the answers are a concentrate of answers provided by real persons on that topic.
There are now a number of companies working to leverage crowdsourcing power, like MobileWorks. We are moving one step up the ladder. The first one was to have the FAQ (frequently asked questions) prepared by an expert, the second was to open up discussion board having people asking and answering and providing a search mechanism to look at the various answers. Now, given the growing number of available answers coming from different people researchers are learning to apply Artificial Intelligence techniques to extract meaningful content from those crowdsourced data banks.
I guess a further step will come as more of these answer creating systems will become available so that meta answering systems will start to emerge, and one further step will be the AI answering systems evaluating the usefulness of the answers and challenging one another to improve them.
As things are becoming part of the Web, and Gaia goes on line, my bet is that we will see more and more objects participating in the crowdsourcing data creation…