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Tracker News battles the bots


For the last two weeks I’ve been tracking Tracker News, a Web site that brings together a nice blend of health, humanitarian and medical news. It’s worth a look, as is the blog by the site editor, Janet Ginsburg (who from time to time comments on this blog).

One interesting note on this project. Tracker is sponsored by InSTEDD, Google’s humanitarian collaboration effort. You would think that cloud-based machines running impossibly sophisticated algorithms would be sorting through millions of stories and posts for Tracker. But, in fact, it’s Ginsburg herself who “battles the bots,” as she puts it.

So if she succeeds, Tracker will become a go-to site for the humanitarian/scientific community—while dealing a small setback to Google’s much-cited goal of organizing the world’s information automatically. (As a human still employed in this information business, I’m cheering her on.)


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