Tel Aviv: Popular websites Wikipedia and Tripadvisor rely on public participation to build up their pool of information, in a process known as crowd data sourcing.
Even though this kind of collective intelligence may be valuable, filtering inaccuracies and offensive material out of these sites is evidently a costly undertaking.
Now Tova Milo, professor at Tel Aviv University`s Blavatnik School of Computer Science, has developed a new technology that can automatically evaluate such data.
It can perform tasks like checking online encyclopaedia content and alerting moderators about potentially offensive commentary -- both saving valuable man-hours and improving the quality of information, according to a Tel Aviv statement.
Bookselling site Amazon also uses such data to provide reviews and book lists, and most news sites crowd-source comments and responses to articles.
Because these sites are designed to be dynamic, Milo explains: "Every day, old information is updated and new information comes in. It`s very difficult to maintain."
Typically, overworked staff members are tasked with sorting through the piles of information received to determine if any inappropriate material has made its way onto a site. But Milo`s database technology can change that as well.
Ultimately, the system ensures that the crowd is being used efficiently.
"It`s about knowing to ask the right people the right questions," says Milo. By using human input more selectively, the results will be of a higher quality, and sites will save money and time on controlling content.
First Published: Wednesday, November 30, 2011, 16:27