Monday, November 7, 2011

Editors + Content Creators = Quality?

This article is interesting and makes a good point. The same point that is being made in academic circles, that peer review and editorial selection is the only way to separate the wheat from the chaff.  Without peer review and examination by the community, it becomes increasingly difficult to stay relevant and in touch, let along maintain "accepted" standards of presentation and language.

The contrary argument that always gets trotted out is that this prevents "new" or radical ideas as they tend to be suppressed (overtly or covertly) by "established" ideas.  While I think this is a danger, its true in any system that contains "vested interests" or "assumptions".  Revolutionary change (great strides) is difficult for any system that is geared toward  evolutionary (many small steps) change.  This is more a factor of the mechanism of the system than the desire or intent of any one person within the system.

So what about algorithmic quality filters? Do they allow or reject revolutionary content?  My guess would be ... it depends! An algorithm is a reflection of the programer(s) who created it. This usually means that it carries all their assumptions and flaws.  More simply put, is the algorithm essentially a black list or white list model.  Algorithms that are smart enough to do semantic analysis are just not yet feasible on the large scale, but hopefully they will be making an entrance soon and go some way to solving this type of problem.

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