Crowd sourcing is such a cool idea. I’d actually read the Wired Article before, it fascinates me. I’ve actually used the idea for a leadership paper on Machiavelli, a man whose (fake, but popular) philosophy was to lead the people like sheep while telling them they were Gods. If you can harness the work effort of people in their downtimes, convince them what they are doing is fun, or entertaining, they will happily double their productivity. From creating an encyclopedia, to mapping the human genome as a video game, people can be a wonderful tool to do your work for you. Heck, it’s the reason Facebook works, zuckerburg just created a framework, and people filled in content. The same for YouTube, which current receives more videos in a day that could be watched in a year.
Given that, for simple tasks, crowd sourcing leads to correct answers, it’s a powerful tool to harness. I remember when people could “loan” their computers to different agencies that would borrow the processing power while the computer was inactive for research. If you look at people like tools, this is the exact same thing, and cool. Or dangerous. As far as the article on reporters, using iReport, or blogging, puts huge pressure on actual news organizations to report even faster, and has led to less impressive journalistic coverage than we’d see even as close as 10 years ago.
1. If a government could find a way to make, say, air traffic control, a crowd source-able job, done via a gaming console or computer, where people were rewarded for the most efficient airplane landing pathways, and perfect records, would you feel safe? ATC is especially tricky, remember, because those controllers sit in the booths for hours, get exhausted, stress issues, etc. If we crowd sourced, someone wouldn’t know if they were actually in charge, it would pull randomly from hundreds of available options, and someone would only be in charge for an hour, or two, like they were playing a video game.
2. Could you eventually trust a large group of people working in their spare time to deliver professional quality work to situations like the one I listed in question 1?