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Behind every good algorithm is a great human

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lol couple (shutterstock)
lol couple (shutterstock)

For the average human web crawler, the algorithms that power what is searched and seen on the web seem to be black boxes of magical machinery — but there's usually a meat-based observer pulling some strings behind the scenes. As The New York Times observes, computer algorithms are increasingly being guided with a human touch, necessary for giving subtle context for human language that can elude even the most powerful machines like IBM's Watson. Even Twitter, the Times reports, "uses a far-flung army of contract workers" to interpret trending search terms; these Twitter "judges" were able, for example, to recognize that Mitt Romney's comments about "Big Bird" during last year's presidential debate were about politics and not really about Sesame Street.