Just a few months after being established, the University of Haifa's Ami and Teddy Sagy Center for the Study of the Internet has been awarded IBM's Open Collaborative Research grant. Head of the Center, Prof. Sheizaf Rafaeli, and Daphne Raban, a member of the research faculty at the Center, have been awarded the $40,000 grant for their research proposal for the development of an application intended to enhance online databases with the participation of multiple users.
Scientists around the world who collaborate with IBM's research institutes compete for the grant that the Sagy Center for the Study of the Internet research team has received. The present collaboration is with the social technologies group at IBM's research institute, which is located on the campus of the University of Haifa and which specializes in the development of technologies for Web 2.0.
According to Raban, the project that won the grant will focus on the development of "crowd computing" applications—applications that require human intelligence beyond computation. Based on an organizational application developed by IBM's social technologies group, users will be able to contribute information to their organizations through games. The information that is contributed can be factual, opinion-based or contextual.
"Various questions arise in this context, such as: In which cases is mass human intelligence particularly beneficial? What would make people contribute their time and information for a computerized application? What social dynamic is created among the sharers?," Raban says.
The grant was awarded to Raban by Oded Cohen, Director of IBM Haifa Labs, at a ceremony at the University of Haifa.
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