Computers may be very smart and complex devices but they too have limitations that compel the need for assistance, and this is were the term human computation chips in as outsourcing of particular tasks or steps is passed onto humans. Factors such as abilities and costs play out and the goal of achieving optimum human-computer interaction necessitates the above practice, essentially the computer seeks a particular solution to problem by requesting a human, in turn it collects, interprets and integrates their solutions.
This approach traces its roots to interactive evolutionary algorithms as envisioned by Richard Dawkins. With human based genetic algorithm (HBGA) human participation is not restricted to the role of evaluation, but rather performs various tasks by contributing their innovative solutions into the evolutionary process, through sharpening pre-existing solutions and also undertake intelligent recombination functions.
Principally, the approach involves the outsourcing of operational tasks of a particular genetic algorithm, and the spin offs for human based genetic algorithm is the capacity to make representations of (say) natural languages of which it holds no operational capability. There are several methods employed in human based computation and some of them are games with which several programs written by humans tackle each other in a computer simulation aimed at identifying the fittest.
Authors are faced with tasks of copying, modifying and recombining good strategies that enhances their prospects of clinching the first spot, e.g (HH2). Wiki (Cunningham 1995) enabled multiple users to edit web content, and by so doing allow two forms of innovation which are incremental edits, contributing new pages (collaborative content evolution or human based strategy under EC terms).
In the case of human based genetic algorithm (HH3) utilizes innovation through the contribution of new content, mutation and recombination (e.g 3form, Free Knowledge Exchange, Yahoo Answers and Knowledge IN). Other human based computation projects promote participants of people through direct monetary compensation for example the likes of Amazon Mechanical Turk, Answerly Operator, Chacha search guide, Mahalo Answers and Humangrid, for others the motive for participation lies in aesthetic satisfaction, a passion for contributing to a cause they believe in, reciprocity, mutual help.
While for some it is entertainment through games, communication and basic knowledge sharing is inspiring enough for others, sharing user innovation and challenging people to improve on it, and also in instances to try and game the system. In the end, the collaborative content inputs enhance our world through the wisdom of the crowds.