Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have developed Qurk, a database system that automatically crowdsources tasks that are difficult or impossible to perform computationally.
For example, images in a Qurk database could be sorted according to the approximate age of the people depicted, the appeal of the depicted locations as travel destinations, or any other attribute whose assessment would require human judgment. "You can just say, 'I have this collection of images, and I want to sort them by how cute they are,' and the system will actually figure out how to implement a sort over your data set," says MIT's Adam Marcus.
The researchers found that, while ranking provided more accurate sorting, Qurk fared better and was much less expensive than other systems. Marcus notes that Qurk also will enable users to specify a group of attributes that might be useful for pre-filtering. The system will then evaluate those attributes on the fly, determining which, if any, actually increase the efficiency of the join operation.
From MIT News
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