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Monday, July 15, 2013

The Future Will Be Crowd-sourced



Still more from weekend NPR....

I've long touted the value of large-scale collaboration, crowd sourcing and the like that the internet has turned into a reality (100,000 used to be a huge number for collaboration, but in the digital-age millions can take part at once). This week's TED Radio Hour from NPR covered the subject well -- TED Radio Hour is a great offering from NPR, but doesn't yet have the distribution of long-time favorites like This American Life or RadioLab,
so if you missed it the entire hour-long show is here:

http://www.npr.org/programs/ted-radio-hour/

 It includes segments with Jimmy Wales from Wikipedia and author/commentator Clay Shirky, but my favorite segment, which was both fascinating and eye-opening, was from Luis Von Ahn on massive crowd sourcing that you're not even aware you're participating in (you'll learn what's actually going on in the background of those annoying "captcha" spammer-filtering challenges!):

http://www.npr.org/2013/07/12/191620023/can-you-crowdsource-without-even-knowing-it

Give the whole show a listen. The material isn't altogether mathematical, but is so vitally important, so timely, and related enough to things that mathematicians have a hand in, or are behind, that all math buffs ought find it interesting.

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