Man versus machine

Here’s something I find interesting. I’ve been reading an article in Wired magazine about business trends for 2008. Half the trends I disagree with but the final trend really hits home. Companies are using people to filter information (shock horror!). Apparently there’s a business called Brijit that uses human curation rather than algorithms to sift editorial content. Even better, Google is planning to introduce something called knols — a tool that allows human experts to write introductions to certain topics.

I like this because I firmly believe that there are limits to where the Internet will take us. Computers can do lots of things but critical thinking isn’t one of them. Indeed, as Picasso once said, computers are useless because they only give us answers. Talk of web 2.0 killing off a whole host of ‘old fashioned’ industries is premature to say the least and fails to take into account a number of issues ranging from the value that people put on physical interactions to the influence of history.

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