Sunday, August 20, 2006

ESP Game

I just got a comment from Henk Poley on my posting Tagging Pictures is Bad Hunting where I said:
I am quite skeptical about finding possible solutions for this problem

Henk Poley:

Do you know the ESP Game? It's a game that solves this problem by letting people tag photos via a game interface.

Well, I saw the video with Luis von Ahn's brilliant lecture and I recommend all those interested in this problem to watch it.

I also used QTSaver to gather a few micro contents that will help us understand what it's about.
From Carnegie Mellon University comes this multiplayer Java applet simply called: The ESP Game. ESP Game is an experiment in human computation originally conceived by Luis von Ahn of Carnegie Mellon University.The idea behind the game is to use the computational power of humans to perform a task that computers cannot yet do (in this case, labeling images) by packaging the task as a game.

Humans are perfectly capable of it, but not necessarily willing. The ESP Game makes humans willing to perform this task by making a game out of it.Some users reportedly play over 40 hours a week. According to the game's creator, if the ESP Game gains popularity comparable to other online games, all images on Google Images could be labeled in just a few months.
The game throws up an image in a Java applet, then asks you and an anonymous "partner" elsewhere on the net to type in keywords until both of you have a word in common -- IOW, until you and a stranger can agree on a good label for the picture. Presumably, this is being added to a metadata database for the purpose of cataloguing all the images on the net.

"There's some meat to his idea," said his mentor, Manuel Blum, a CMU professor and a pioneer in the field of theoretical computer science. Producing word descriptions of images with the ESP Game is nice, of course, but the bigger idea is to entice people to cooperatively solve problems that defy electronic computers.
The ESP Game is a two-player game.You can’t communicate with your partner, and the only thing you have in common with them is that you can both see the same image.

The ESP Game: Labeling the Web - great model of using one type of interest (playing a game) to fulfill an unrelated need (creating an image database) -- it's the cornucopia of the uncommons!

1 comment:

Henk Poley said...

Coincidently Google has just licenced the game and implemented a beta version under the name "Google Image Labeler":