Using Human Cognitive Limitations to Enable New Systems
The following Great Innovative Idea is from Vincent Conitzer, Kimberly J. Jenkins University Distinguished Professor of New Technologies Professor of Computer Science, Professor of Economics, and Professor of Philosophy at Duke University. Conitzer was one of the winners from the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) sponsored Blue Sky Ideas Track Competition at AAAI HCOMP 2020. His winning paper is called Using Human Cognitive Limitations to Enable New Systems.
Assuming we want to maintain some degree of anonymity, is there anything we can do? Here is an idea: perhaps it is possible to create a test that anybody can pass once, but nobody can pass twice . If so, the problem is solved: simply require users to pass the test before getting an account. But such a test may appear impossible. How could taking a test that you pass make you unable to pass the test again in the future
This particular design did not perform so well. Subjects’ performance did not degrade significantly the second time they took the test. Also, there is too much variance across people in how well they perform on this test, making it impossible to set a score threshold that anyone can reach once but not twice. Another design performed better, but still not well enough for practical use. I am hopeful that there is another design that works much better, but there are easier versions of the problem as well. For example, less ambitious is to design a test that nobody can pass twice at the same time — which would be useful when voting online for something in a very brief window of time (say, for the player of the game, at the end of the game). In joint work with Garrett Andersen , we show that such a test is actually quite easy to design, by requiring the subject to keep track of a box that is moving among other boxes. Trying to do two of these tests at once seems effectively impossible for a human being, since we’re not able to track two things in different places at once. An experiment confirmed this.
My website: https://users.cs.duke.edu/~conitzer/