Massively Collaborative Problem Solving
Posted on November 11th, 2015
11/11/2015 @Pivotal Labs, 625 6th Ave, NY
Matt Weber @zoomdata started by describing how simple rules can create complex, interesting systems
- #Conway’s game of life – simple rule
- The #Delphi Method (Rand Corporation) – collaboration
He next described his use of #Amazon Turk in 2009 to obtain interesting answers to complex problems. His example was a question asking for ways to make the U.S. energy self-sufficient. He used
Simple rules + iterative collaboration = massively #collaborative #ProblemSolving
Answers were selected using three simple tasks
- Create –each worker creates a list of 7 proposals – repeated by 50 workers
- Rate – Each proposal was rated on a 1-10 scale – done by 20 workers
- Atomize – take the 7 proposals with the highest aggregate score. Of the 7 proposals ask which need more details – ask 50 workers
This person proposed 7 as the maximum number of items that can be kept in working memory. Answer: Who is George A. Miller in his paper the Magical number seven plus or minus two?
End of round one.
- Take the top proposals and ask another set of workers to make a plan of action for this proposal
- 20 workers rate the subproposals on a 1-10 scale
- Select the top sub-proposals
Repeat for each of the top tasks
Matt then displayed the answers and commented on how many proposals were reasonable and well-thought-out
He next talked about design considerations when determining what problems could be successfully addressed by this method. The main consideration is to pick a general topic and let the crowd guide the process. The problem should be of general interest and be framed so it is
- Human readable – also can be handled by computers
- Short text – can be written and consumed fast
- Keep it relevant and passionate – people need to be involved
The problem needs to be encapsulated so it is bite-size and does not need a context.