Collective Problem Solving
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I would like to introduce an idea that I have had for an application for the internet to be used for. There are several different terms for this idea from internet brain storming to collective creating to global reasoning. The general idea is to use the internet to bring up a host of ideas about any type of engineering problem that has confounded the experts and may need an outsiders perspective to solve the problem (thinking out of the box). The goal would be to introduce specific problems to the forum and then anyone with internet access could read the problem and put their input into fixing it or improving upon an existing design. Their are several distributed computing projects that involve human input to make them work. This would be another. It might take a company or corporation to organize the forum and give credit and royalties to those that come up with the best innovations. These companies would also need a staff of engineers to look through the ideas to make sure that they would work and be cost effective to implement, but it would be worth it.
We now use computers for parallel processing to solve problems but computers lack imagination to come up with ideas because they can only calculate not think in the abstract. I know that most people think that only the experts are expert enough to solve perplexing design problems but an idea can come from anyone. New discoveries can also be turned over to the public to find applications for them to improve our quality of life. The different areas that this type of thinktanking could help is electrical, mechanical, chemical, industrial, and civil engineering. This type of imagination power could be extremely powerful and virtually limitless. The internet is a tool that could make geniuses out of us all instead of just having a few around to improve the quality of life for us all. Solutions to problems would have to be sent by e-mail so that unscroupulous individuals or companies couldn't just take the info for their own use without including something for the innovator. I would like to accomplish this myself but know that it would take the resources of a big company to incorporate it.