Google Solve for X: Crowd-Sourcing Humanity’s Problems

It’s Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics professor giving a Solve for X talk — on solving big, big problems with giant groups of humans, Yes, he does mean crowdsourcing. Great stuff. It sounds improbable — it did to me at first — but watch the video and then judge. Thanks Google for coming up with a cool group of independent speakers on such fascinating topics.

AnewDomain eds are taking some of our favorite Solve for X talks, inspired by a Google project with scientists and theorists as a challenge for  “moonshot” thinking to solve major problems with out of the box ideas. The last two of of our five best Solve for X Talks — still undecided  and actively debated by a team of AND staff — for fourth and fifth spots will run before midnight 12 PT.

Hosted by Eric Schmidt, this was quite the collection of brains.

Not an easy task. But this one was easy. We all loved it. It’s by Adrien Treuille, a professor of computer science and robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, who believes big science tasks should be solved by big human collaboration.

He proposes that future important scitech advances will be cloud-sourced to an almost ubiquitous agree. Crazy? Like a fox. Listen to his logic. He talks about EteRNA and Foldit, scientific discovery games where individual gamers are beginning to beat the best computer programs in DNA folding and RNA nano-fabrication problems … worth it if you’re like me, a science and chem geek : )

Disclosure: This writer wrote The Genomics Age (2005) and is well acquainted with the RNA folding and other work over at Carnegie Mellon. She in no way will profit from this article.

About the author

Gina Smith

Gina Smith is a New York Times bestselling author and an award-winning journalist. A former correspondent for ABC News, Gina is the co-founder and editorial director of aNewDomain Media. Email Gina at gina@anewdomain.net and find her on Twitter @ginasmith888