Sunday, July 15, 2007

Brain power

SETI@home harnessed the power of millions of home computers to beat out the data-crunching power of the best supercomputers. Now GalaxyZoo is trying a new twist on the "volunteer computing" model, inviting the folks at home to classify galaxies by hand through a web interface. According to the site:
The human brain is much better at recognising patterns than a computer can ever be. Any computer program we write to sort our galaxies into categories would do a reasonable job, but it would also inevitably throw out the unusual, the weird and the wonderful. To rescue these interesting systems which have a story to tell, we need you.

With a million galaxies to be classified, the team is hoping 20,000 to 30,000 volunteers will sign on. For more, see the BBC's coverage. Thanks to Karen for pointing this story out!

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