Monday, December 21, 2009

Inflated Expectations: Crowd-Sourcing Comes of Age in the DARPA Network Challenge

The M.I.T. and Georgia Tech teams proved most successful in using social networks to pinpoint the locations of 10 red weather balloons scattered throughout the U.S.
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Network Challenge earlier this month demonstrated that social networks, more than being platforms for self-promotion, can be also be highly effective tools for rapidly gathering and disseminating very precise information. With the help of Facebook, Twitter and a homemade Web site, a winning team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) was able to within nine hours identify the correct latitude and longitude of all 10 of DARPA's red weather balloons, which were lofted 30.5 meters into the air at locations scattered throughout the U.S.

The competition was instructive not only in the ways that social networks can be successful at crowd-sourcing—using the Internet's long reach to rally disparate groups of people together for a common cause—but also in revealing different ways people can be motivated to participate. Whereas the M.I.T. Media Lab's Red Balloon Challenge Team's approach was to promise a share of the $40,000 in prize money to those that helped them win, the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) "I Spy a Red Balloon" team in Atlanta (which placed second out of 58 teams) located nine of the balloons in nearly the same amount of time as M.I.T. with the promise of donating all of their winnings to the American Red Cross.
To Learn More Click Here
Bookmark and Share

No comments:

Post a Comment