Author Archives: Hannu I. Miettinen

About Hannu I. Miettinen

Formerly a research scientist, Hannu is now involved in developing new technologies for tasks that computers struggle with. He has a lifelong interest in promoting excellence in science and technology, and has written popular articles about science for 30 years.

Crowdsourcing and machine translation: the start of a beautiful friendship

Posted on by Hannu I. Miettinen

Machine-aided translation is one of those things people love to hate. Despite the best efforts of enthusiasts like myself, the majority of computer users still believe that machines are useless translators. The whole area of machine translation has a terrible image problem. There are endless jokes and “true” stories about computer translation failures. Some of [...]


Crowdsourcing: an ancient Finnish tradition?

Posted on by Hannu I. Miettinen

Crowdsourcing is generally considered to be a modern invention. Like many people, I first came across the term in Jeff Howe’s 2006 article The Rise of Crowdsourcing. I was impressed by Jeff’s ideas, but reading the article I began to think: “somehow this concept sounds very familiar”. Then I realized why. Crowdsourcing is really just [...]


The Future Began Yesterday

Posted on by Hannu I. Miettinen

“The future begins today” is a favorite slogan of many technocrats. But the reality is, it began yesterday. Many of the inventions which will affect our lives during the next few decades have already been made. Right at this moment, unknown to most people, their applications are being developed in thousands of technology companies around [...]

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Let Us Think Creatively

Posted on by Hannu I. Miettinen

I read a newspaper story about creativity training recently. In it a creativity consultant boasted that by doing his course you could increase your creativity exponentially. I wondered: is this true? Can creativity really be trained? Creative thinking is characterized by openness and vigilance. It requires the ability and the desire to question accepted truths. [...]

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