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Computers Offer Productive Recreation June 26, 2007

Posted by federalist in Energy, Human Markets.
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I love the idea of distributed computing projects that harness idle computer processors for computationally intensive projects.  However the proliferation of power-saving technology has reduced the attraction of this sort of spare-cycle application:  Since computer processors idle their power consumption when they aren’t being used it is no longer completely free to put them to work.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could harness the computational power of all the human brains that idle away hours playing completely unproductive games of solitaire and minesweeper?  Humans are unparalleled for many useful computational tasks.  Luis von Ahn at Carnegie Mellon is a pioneer in capitalizing that factGoogle is putting his technology in practice.  There is also research into exploiting the enormous subconscious computing power that every person carries.

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1. federalist - July 15, 2007

IBM and Seriosity are apparently also investigating whether the fact that people work so well in games can be applied to real-world work. Can work be more like games?


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