Summary of Crowdsource Win

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Crowdsource Win summary

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


Humans have used crowdsourcing to solve problems since antiquity, but until recently, crowdsourcing’s capacity has been limited. Through engaging anecdotes, physicist Riley Crane relays how new communications paradigms can empower humanity to crack complex conundrums. getAbstract believes Crane’s presentation will inspire coders and laypeople alike to employ the power of the Internet to find answers to the world’s most intractable issues.

About the Speaker

Physicist Riley Crane is an engineering director at Path, a software firm. He formerly worked at MIT’s Media Lab.


Crowdsourcing is an ancient tool. A trail through the wilderness represents crowdsourced information. As travelers contributed their individual imprints, a track became etched in the earth over time, creating a path through a “complex information landscape.” Google Instant operates according to the same principle. When Google predicts your search query before you’ve finished typing it, the search engine is signposting the most common path to the knowledge you seek, based on billions of previous searches. Pandora, Netflix and countless other services rely on crowd input to improve their offerings for all users.

Yet “these forms of crowdsourcing ...

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