Data generated as a side effect of game
play also solves computational problems
and trains AI algorithms.
By Luis Von ahn anD LauRa DaBBish
MANy TASKS ARE trivial for humans but continue to
challenge even the most sophisticated computer
programs. Traditional computational approaches to
solving such problems focus on improving artificial-intelligence algorithms. Here, we advocate a different
approach: the constructive channeling of human
brainpower through computer games. Toward this
goal, we present general design principles for the
development and evaluation of a class of games we call
“games with a purpose,” or GWAPs, in which people,
as a side effect of playing, perform tasks computers
are unable to perform.
The Entertainment Software Association (www.
theesa.com/facts/gamer_data.php) has reported
that more than 200 million hours are spent each day
playing computer and video games in the U.S. Indeed,
by age 21, the average American has spent more than
10,000 hours playing such games15—equivalent to five
years of working a full-time job 40 hours per week.
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