The Answer Engine: How Humans Can Provide Better Knowledge Than Algorithms


Editor’s note: Michał Borkowski is CEO of Brainly, a social learning website.

When you have a question you need answered, do you ask a friend or a robot? The answer to that question used to be easy. But the rise of Siri, Yahoo and Google has ushered in an era in which we turn not to experts but to search engines for answers.

By failing to solicit human responses in the pursuit of information, I believe we are making a big mistake – in relying excessively on this single source, we open ourselves up to a data blind spot.

When the first hand-curated directories of the early web’s few sites added query forms, becoming search engines, they expected users to enter boolean search strings, just like their computer scientist inventors. But the fact that many of us write questions, not fact-focused strings, into search boxes is a dead giveaway…

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