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Social Networks Science

Crowd-Sourced Experiment To Map All Human Skills 70

spadadot writes French-based startup has just launched a website that will let you add your skills to a comprehensive map of human skills. As quoted from their website "We aim to build the largest, most accurate, multilingual skills database ever made, by allowing a diverse and skillful community to contribute their individual skills to the global map." The ontology is simple: skills can have zero or more sub-skills. Every new skill is available in all supported languages (only English and French at the moment). The crowdsourced data is free for non-commercial use."
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Crowd-Sourced Experiment To Map All Human Skills

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  • i like that system best.

  • by netsavior ( 627338 ) on Wednesday November 12, 2014 @06:46PM (#48373675)
    they make me a nightmare for people like you.
  • I am very good at this. So good, someone is actually paying me real good money, actual money with which you could buy other stuff, for this obscure skill. This is a great country, or what!
  • They will very soon have a comprehensive database of the very best automated troll entry coding skillsets that GNAA and other such groups can muster.

    Or didn't they get the memo that Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf won man of the year over a decade ago?

  • does the 4chan crowd know about this?

  • That is going to make for a very large and weird collection of skills.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    While composing a pstt Slahsot

    oh shit

    Well I can do 3.

  • by Rambo Tribble ( 1273454 ) on Wednesday November 12, 2014 @07:09PM (#48373927) Homepage
    Shaving, cooking, gardening, driving and a vast host of other life skills seem totally off the radar here. Arguably, these skills are more important to an individuals existence than most of the ones being considered.
    • They seem to have those organized under "technicals"
    • I think those would go into the "Technicals" category, which seems to be their catchall "Other" category.

    • Some of those are in here. Shaving and gardening I don't see, but there is Technical-->Kitchen. And there is Technical-->Wheel vehicule[sic] handling-->Land vehicles-->Car driving. Which is then helpfully subclassified into Volvo, Ford, Chrysler, General Motors and Subaru, because of course you have to retrain before you change car brands. And the world's largest car manufacturer (Toyota) doesn't rate a mention.

      • Actually, for shaving, there is Technicals-->Beauty-->Body Care-->hair removal. And for gardening, there's Technicals-->Agriculture-->Floriculture-->Gardening

      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        well, I think it's a ploy by french unions.
        not onions, but labor unions.

        only french labor unions could come up with something as stupid as this, to prove why individual shouldn't be fired or why the employer shouldn't expect their permanent employee to be able to drive a subaru if he can only drive a citroen.

  • better way both to organize and map skillsets is through understanding how the brain works and data crunching differences.

  • Comprehensive list of skills, in multiple languages, free to use for non-commercial purposes... So will the RPG they're making with this be a purely skill based system, or will it be tied to attributes and levels? Will there be perks available?
  • The crowdsourced data is free for non-commercial use.

    Yes, but that makes it "free as in beer", not "free as in data-wants-to-be".

    I can see practically no useful non-commercial purpose for such data, as the only sensible use for it is in recruitment, which is a decidedly non-non-commercial use.

    As it's a startup, I'm assuming they're aiming to make a profit which means they want to sell the data to firms in and around the recruitment sector. And they want the public to do lots and lots of unpaid work so that they can datamine lots of data that no-one else will

  • Wrong structure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by swillden ( 191260 ) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Wednesday November 12, 2014 @09:40PM (#48374765) Homepage Journal

    They're trying to model a database of human skills as a hierarchy. That's the most common sort of categorization system we design, because it's simple and logical, but there are lots of things that simply don't fit such a model. Arguably, it's not even a particularly natural model for humans since our internal category systems are generally prototype-based [wikipedia.org].

    But in this case, the real problem is that whatever clear divisions you try to define to segregate skills into classes will be essentially arbitrary. Skills shade into one another based on various common elements. Some pairs of skills are deeply similar because they involve the same sorts of processes, so a person who knows one can easily learn the other even if they're used in completely different contexts, so the taxonomy as-is will incorrectly separate them. Ideally, you really want a skill map that identifies skills that have high degrees of similarity, and between which people can transition easily, regardless of context (I suppose I'm presuming an application of the map which may not be intended, but it seems like a pretty darned valuable application).

    There are also real issues of granularity. Take C++ programming... you can be a competent programmer without knowing anything about template metaprogramming, and you can be an expert metaprogrammer without being able to write useful code. Think about it for a moment and you can come up with a hundred examples of sub-skills for any skill. Of course, you can just decide to arbitrarily cut it off at a particular level, and sometimes that level is obvious... but I have a strong suspicion that different people will disagree on the where those "obvious" cut-offs are.

    Building the data up the ad-hoc way they're going about it is going to lead to lots of other strangenesses. For example, right now under "Technology" there are three categories "Computer Science", "Aerospace" and "Engineering". Umm, what? We can argue about whether or not software engineers are real engineers, but aerospace engineers definitely are. Do those three things really belong at the same level? Clearly not, and no individual taxonomist would put them there. I hope they have some way for the crowd (or someone) to restructure or the inevitably-flawed and inconsistent hierarchical taxonomy is also going to be silly.

    I'm not saying that their idea is impossible, I'm saying that it doesn't fit within a structure of classical categories. Instead it should be modeled as a graph, with multiple relationships between nodes, and the edges labeled to indicate the nature of the relationship. Of course, this will make it impossible to find a skill in the graph except by searching, but that's going to be the case anyway. Except in the most obvious cases people won't know which branches of the tree to follow to find a given skill, and if you're going to start by searching anyway a graph facilitates finding what you want, because you can search for something related and then from there navigate to precisely what you wanted (assuming it's present and properly-connected).

    I think there'd also be a lot of value in jump-starting (or perhaps refining) crowd-sourced data with automated analysis and clustering, derived from relevant documents. But the approach to collecting and building the data is less important than getting the data model right.

    • Easier to tear down than to build. Care to help?

      • Easier to tear down than to build. Care to help?

        I did. I suggested that they should switch to a general graph rather than a hierarchy, explained why a hierarchy is the wrong structure, and proposed that the process of building the map could be accelerated with machine learning techniques.

  • I must be losing it, as earlier today I interpreted at first glance "Study Shows How Humans Can Echolocate" as "Study Shows How Humans Can Eat Chocolate" and now "Crowd-Sourced Experiment To Map All Human Skills" as "Crowd-Sourced Experiment To Map All Human Skulls". Haven't even cracked my first beer yet...maybe that's the problem.
  • All I see is a blank page. Is having your server slashdotted a skill?

  • They need to fork Wikipedia, and add some directed tree flags to it. Skill META can be considered to belong to multiple parent categories, and has multiple meanings because of the vagaries of language META.

    Any attempt to shoe-horn this into a tree is going to fail. Oh... and their search function is dead.

  • Because as far as I can tell, a skill can quite literally be anything that people can do... which I'd guess is going to be an infinitely large set, and any list they come up with will never be exhaustive... at best only complete for all practical purposes.
    • by Cederic ( 9623 )

      Yeah. They need 'add random shite to fucked up online skills db' skills, followed by 'add plausible sounding random shite to fucked up online skills db' followed by 'invent new adjectives to describe the way in which I'm adding random shite to fucked up online skills db'.

      The current classification system is so fucked already that it's doomed from the outset.

  • The top level of their ontology names categories in Science & Technology, Sports, Social Sciences, Arts, Business, and "Technicals" and claims that "all skills" come under this tree. Well, I can name a node "everything", put everything under that and say that "all skills" come under that tree, too. It doesn't really make the classification useful.

    So, what I see here are idiots who think that crowd sourcing ontologies work. Note - it doesn't. At least not very well.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton