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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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A Crowd of Opinions, Accessible From Your Smartphone

September 11, 2012, 9:24 PM

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What's the Latest Development?

A team of researchers at the University of Rochester has created a chat system, fittingly names Chorus, that, when asked a question such as, "Where's a good place to eat in New York?" displays a response derived from a group of people who are paid to submit their answers and vote on the best one. However, it's designed to act like a single individual is speaking, one which is able to interpret and respond in ways that artificial intelligence has yet to achieve.

What's The Big Idea?

Human-powered crowdsourcing is often used for simple tasks that computers can't easily handle, but the researchers believe that applying it to more complex tasks can provide a highly intelligent form of individual service. One says, "You could go from today where I call AT&T and speak with an individual, to a future where many people with different skills work together to act as a single incredibly intelligent tech support." Of course there are still some bugs to work out, including adding more filtering capabilities in the likely case that the crowd splits its opinion on, say, the best sushi restaurants in Midtown Manhattan.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com


A Crowd of Opinions, Access...

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