Twitter has made an old idea new again, unveiling a new system that lets actual human beings tell its data center how to make sense of trending hashtags and other topical searches.
But don’t get too excited about this apparent triumph of man over machine. First, the actual work done by these people seems likely to be menial and poorly compensated, even if it does accomplish something that Twitter’s mighty information systems appear unable to manage on their own.
Second, and more important, you shouldn’t expect to see Twitter’s service improve in any ways you might actually notice — unless, that is, you happen to be a Twitter advertiser. Because the primary aim of the system appears to be improving Twitter’s ability to serve up relevant ads against briefly popular hashtags whose meaning would be completely opaque to computers, though readily grasped by real people.
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