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Submission + - Software Controlling Humans - API (

An anonymous reader writes: IF YOU'VE ever joked about your boss being a robot, stop laughing, they soon could be. A web service has launched that allows software algorithms to automatically recruit, hire and pay workers to do a wide variety of tasks.

"For the last 60 years, humans have controlled software — now we're getting to the stage where software can control humans," says Matt Barrie of Australian website

The website normally provides a forum for companies wanting to outsource their work. Now it has been upgraded so that developers can write software to post job adverts on the site, take on respondents and pay them for the results without human input.

For example, a program written for a store with a large inventory could automatically recruit salespeople to sell its products and send more work the way of people that do the best job.

Because the software is doing the commissioning and assessing the results, it avoids the need for a company to hire other people to rate the work that was done.

Barrie says there are enough programmers on the site's books for it to be possible to write software that can even improve itself, by recruiting people to improve its own code.


Submission + - Would You Boost Your Own Brain Power?

Hugh Pickens writes: "There are several drugs on the market that improve memory, concentration, planning and reduce impulsive behavior and risky decision-making, and many more are being developed. Doctors already prescribe these drugs to treat cognitive disabilities and improve quality of life for patients with neuropsychiatric disorders and brain injury and cognitive-enhancing drugs are increasingly being used in non-medical situations such as shift work and by active military personnel. Although the appeal of pharmaceutical cognitive enhancers — to help one study longer, work more effectively or better manage everyday stresses — is understandable, potential users, both healthy and diseased, must consider the pros and cons of their choices. Read the story from Nature magazine on the ethical issues raised by the use of pharmaceutical cognitive enhancers and the questions raised on how the use of cognitive enhancers should be regulated in healthy people."

We're living in a golden age. All you need is gold. -- D.W. Robertson.