Yesterday I spent all day in the second day of the Technion Computer Engineering center workshop on big data. There were a few interesting talks, and the organizers promised to put the slides of all talks on their website (eventually). I chose to write about an interesting talk given by Tova Milo, from Tel-Aviv University. Tova talked about her work on crowd wisdom, and also presented a video in which a contestant in a TV show who did not know an answer used the option of - ask the audience, and followed the audience to the wrong result, and out. The talk discussed some means of knowledge acquisition, how to phrase questions. The examples she gave were: what to do when I have headache, and I am looking for a place to go for children attraction in NYC and a nearby restaurant which is children friendly.
I asked her whether in the case of constant headache it is not better to ask an expert physician, and her answer was that people trust the crowd wisdom more than they trust their physicians, well I think it is a function of who the person is, and who the physician is. When we planned the trip to New Zealand , We could use crowd wisdom, there is a lot of material on the web, of course, but we chose to go to an expert travel advisor and ask for a trip plan (including all travel arrangements), it certainly saved us time, but if one has enough time, getting advices from the crowd is useful. I wonder if somebody researched the trade-offs between expert wisdom and crowd wisdom, and classified the cases in which each should be used.