Jason Pontin has a interesting story today in the New Tork Times business section about the use and misuse of people to assist computers in such tasks as searches [”Artificial Intelligence, with Help From the Humans” reg. required]. He cites Cha Cha, a company that has received investment from Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com. Cha Cha, explains Pontin, is a “human-assisted search company.” There is another part of the Cha Cha story. We think of it more as a stealth-like online advertising vehicle disguised in `Google’ search garb. While users of Cha Cha await the help of “real” people to assist them with their information searches, here’s what is really happening, courtesy of Behavioral Insider:
Interview with co-founder of “next generation search firm” ChaCha. “Beyond Keywords: New Dimensions In Search Behavior.” Phil Leggiere. Behavioral Insider. March 14, 2007.