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Carnegie Mellon: Play GWAP and help computers get smarter

May 20 // Papa Niero    @destructoid

I have a confession to make: I'm addicted to playing Gwap, a quintet of online games that simply task my human brain to perform menial tasks for the benefit of a computer. No, it's not an MMO (harr harr!); it's actually a Carnegie Mellon research project that turns your gameplay data into artificial intelligence that a supercomputer can crunch and then put to use in real-world applications. The concept is as brilliant as it is easy to wrap your mind around:

1. You play a game

2. Computers get smarter

3. Everyone benefits

When you log in to a game, you are partnered with a remote peer that is being presented the same tasks as as you are, whether it's finding a dog in a picture or deciding whether or not a baby moose is cuter than a fat girl's sweet 16 photos. The results are compared in a timed round, and you are rewarded extra points when you correctly guessed what the other person chose. Gwap games also include a full-blown combo system for correct answers in succession and rank/track how good of a Gwapling you are.  In return, their system uses our collective responses to better perform difficult computing problems, such as identifying objects in a photograph.  Not too shabby for a geeky research lab project, right?

There are five games to keep you from being productive today: ESP (a game where you guess what the other person is typing after looking at a photo), Tag a tune (steal Casey Kasem's job), Verbosity (think Pictionary with words), Squigl (trace stuff), and Matchin (guess what photo your peer likes best). Give it a shot and tell them Dtoid sent you: Gwap.com.


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