14 April 2008

Wisdom of Crowds vs. the Wisdom of the Computer

Ironic Sans dropped this in my reader today. The wisdom of crowds battles it out with the wisdom of computers in a video game experiment: Video Store Clerk.

Jay and Andy have created a game called Video Store Clerk in which you play a video store clerk. You are told how a real customer has rated previous movie rentals, and then you are shown another movie title that the person also rented. Can you guess how the customer rated that movie?

They are collecting all the user-generated data and comparing it to the real customers’ ratings. A computer has already played the game with millions of customers, and we know how well it did. The question is whether or not the wisdom of crowds can beat the computer. To gather enough data for an accurate comparison, they need a lot of people to play. So please, pass the link around. Digg it. Blog it. They tell me their server can handle the load.

I did pretty well on level 1 before I got bored. In attention span, the computer will always have the advantage.

No comments: