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Distributed Search and Rescue via Amazon.com

Now, this is interesting. As the email announcing this says:
On Monday, September 3, 2007, Steve Fossett, the first person to fly a plane around the world without refueling and the first person to fly around the world in a balloon went missing in Nevada. An airplane he was flying failed to return. No one has any idea where he is. (Wikipedia article).
The Mechanical Turk project to locate Steve Fossett has been given one week for completion.

Those of you who don't know what the Mechanical Turk is should know that it is “Artificial Artificial Intelligence”. That is, Amazon.com has created a way for computers to use people's work as input.

In this case, people will scan satellite photography taken recently looking for possible places that search and rescue efforts should be focused on.

Which means, you, sitting in your living room thousands of miles away, could help rescue someone.

I've no idea if this will work, but, man, what a concept!

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March 2010

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