I usually write about how computer games help humans to learn. Today, I write about how humans (while playing games) help computers to learn. In the process, the humans advance brain science and learn about neurology. I am one of the 70,000+ who have played eyewire, a game that was created by;
“…scientists at MIT, Eyewire is a browser game that lets players take on the challenge of mapping neural pathways in brains — no scientific background required. By playing, gamers are not only mapping neurons, but also training artificial intelligence algorithms to better understand how to map neurons themselves, what Amy Robinson, Creative Director at Eyewire, calls “augmented intelligence”. The more that gamers play, the better the computers get.”
By creating a map of all the connected neurons in the brain, we advance understanding and treatment of alzheimer’s, dementia, mood disorders, and other cognitive diseases. The human connectome has 86 billion connected neurons, so mapping this is impossible for humans to do quickly. But, by using the Eyewire game, we can quickly teach the Artificial Intelligence software to map our connectome much faster than we could.
So, stop playing Farmville, and start playing a serious game!
Map the brain, save your brain, and learn a little brain science!
The world will be a better place.To play Eyewire click here – http://eyewire.org/
To read the full article by Aaron Frank from Singularity Hub click here; http://singularityhub.com/2013/07/10/70000-have-played-eyewire-game-that-trains-computers-to-map-the-brain/
- Play a Game, Map the Brain with MIT (eyewire.org)
Yes, ordinary people, non-scientist can contribute to science by playing a game
Joe Palca, of NPR, recorded a great story on how people playing games can contribute to science and learning. In the first half of the story, He plays and describes the game EyeWire, in which you can contribute to brain research and learn about the nerves of the eye. In the second half of the story he describes the game Foldit, in which you can contribute to Scientists understanding of how proteins fold and learn about protein folding yourself.
“People can get pretty addicted to computer games. By some estimates, residents of planet Earth spend 3 billion hours per week playing them. Now some scientists are hoping to make use of all that human capital and harness it for a good cause.
Right now I’m at the novice level of a game called EyeWire, trying to color in a nerve cell in a cartoon drawing of a slice of tissue. EyeWire is designed to solve a real science problem — it aims to chart the billions of nerve connections in the brain.”
“This image represents a chunk, or “cube,” of brain. Each different color represents a different neuron, and the goal of the EyeWire game is to figure out how these tangled neurons connect to each other. Players look at a slice from this cube and try to identify the boundaries of each cell. It isn’t easy, and it takes practice. You can try it for yourself at eyewire.org.”
Link to text and audio from NPR here;