What on Earth is a ‘wicked problem,’ and why is everyone talking about it today?

What on Earth is a ‘wicked problem,’ and why is everyone talking about it today?

A new study claims that combining AI with crowdsourcing could solve the world's ills, from disease to global warming to geopolitical conflict.

As we reported recently, a fascinating new study published in the journal Science claims that combining artificial intelligence (AI) and crowdsourcing could solve so-called “wicked problems.” But just what are wicked problems and why is crowdsourcing such an effective method against them?

Scientists at the Human Computation Institute and Cornell University believe that this radical new concept could solve some of the most fundamental problems facing humanity, and crowdsourcing combined with AI could be the key to tackling wicked problems.

What are wicked problems? They’re essentially problems that are extremely complex with a huge amount of variables that makes it difficult for an individual to figure out a solution. Problems like the spread of disease, climate change, and geopolitical strife are impossible to solve by even the smartest minds, but as it turns out, no one is as smart as all of us, which is why crowdsourcing could be the key.

Crowdsourcing is having individuals attack certain elements of a problem, and the combined effort results in a more complex and nuanced solution. AI could be used to manage this process, creating a super problem-solving system that could rid us of the ills facing mankind.

It’s an exciting revelation that could be one of the hallmarks of the development of mankind in the 21st century, and it could lead to tremendous breakthroughs in dealing with some of the most vexing problems.

Crowdsourcing is growing in prevalence throughout the world as leaders are taking advantage of the fact that the world is more connected than ever to run vast projects tapping in on the wisdom of the masses.

You can read more about the effort in the Human Computation Institute’s press release here.

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