Editor’s note: The world of science has been transformed. Where once astronomers sat at the controls of giant telescopes in remote locations, praying for clear skies, now they have no need to budge from their desks, as data arrives in their inbox. And what they receive is overwhelming; projects now being built provide more data in a few nights than in the whole of humanity’s history of observing the Universe. It’s not just astronomy either – dealing with this deluge of data is the major challenge for scientists at CERN, and for biologists who use automated cameras to spy on animals in their natural habitats. Artificial intelligence is one part of the solution – but will it spell the end of human involvement in scientific discovery?
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“The Crowd and the Cosmos has a very conversational style… Not only does Lintott cover citizen science initiatives, but he captures, in an easy-to-understand manner, a number of cutting-edge astronomical research topics… Who knows what is waiting to be discovered in the numerous collected data sets available on the Zooniverse? Thanks to this book, perhaps I will contribute in a small way to the next big discovery.” — Matthew Hodgson, Astronomy Now
“The Crowd & the Cosmos is a reminder that the Internet has also given rise to networks of positive accomplishment and that human intuition can still exceed algorithms and artificial intelligence.” — Shepherd Express
Marc Benioff and Monica Langley
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