Futured Stories and Events

New Course on Crowdsourcing & Human Computation

By: Zack Ives | May 15, 2013


Crowdsourcing and human computation are emerging fields that sit squarely at the intersection of economics and computer science. They examine how people can be used to solve complex tasks that are currently beyond the capabilities of artificial intelligence algorithms. Online marketplaces like Mechanical Turk (named after the chess-playing "automaton" shown to the left) provide an infrastructure that allows micropayments to be given to people in return for completing human intelligence tasks. This opens up previously unthinkable possibilities like people being used as function calls in software.

In a new course being piloted this year, we will investigate how crowdsourcing can be used for computer science applications like machine learning, next-generation interfaces, and data mining. Beyond these computer science aspects, we will also delve into topics like prediction markets, how businesses can capitalize on collective intelligence, and the fundamental principles that underly democracy and other group decision-making processes.

Course details: CIS 399-001, Crowdsourcing and Human Computation. Chris Callison-Burch. Fall 2013, MW 4:30 - 6:00.