IdeaHound: Improving Large-scale Collaborative Ideation with Crowd-Powered Real-time Semantic Modeling

Pao Siangliulue, Joel Chan, Steven P. Dow, and Krzysztof Z. Gajos



Prior work on creativity support tools demonstrates how a computational semantic model of a solution space can enable interventions that substantially improve the number, quality and diversity of ideas. However, automated semantic modeling often falls short when people contribute short text snippets or sketches. Innovation platforms can employ humans to provide semantic judgments to construct a semantic model, but this relies on external workers completing a large number of tedious micro tasks. This requirement threatens both accuracy (external workers may lack expertise and context to make accurate semantic judgments) and scalability (external workers are costly). In this paper, we introduce IdeaHound, an ideation system that seamlessly integrates the task of defining semantic relationships among ideas into the primary task of idea generation. The system combines implicit human actions with machine learning to create a computational semantic model of the emerging solution space. The integrated nature of these judgments allows IdeaHound to leverage the expertise and efforts of participants who are already motivated to contribute to idea generation, overcoming the issues of scalability inherent to existing approaches. Our results show that participants were equally willing to use (and just as productive using) IdeaHound compared to a conventional platform that did not require organizing ideas. Our integrated crowdsourcing approach also creates a more accurate semantic model than an existing crowdsourced approach (performed by external crowds). We demonstrate how this model enables helpful creative interventions: providing diverse inspirational examples, providing similar ideas for a given idea and providing a visual overview of the solution space.

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Pao Siangliulue, Joel Chan, Steven P. Dow, and Krzysztof Z. Gajos. Ideahound: Improving large-scale collaborative ideation with crowd-powered real-time semantic modeling. In Proceedings of the 29th Annual Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, UIST '16, pages 609-624, New York, NY, USA, 2016. ACM.