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Human search engine

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A Human Search Engine[1] is a unique type of internet[2] search engine that incorporates human input and intelligence in its operation. This type of search engine often utilizes human-based computation, where humans participate in problem-solving and information retrieval processes. It can include platforms like the Human Flesh Search Engine, which is a Chinese internet phenomenon where users collectively participate in solving problems, and Social Search, which involves mining social networks for information. Human Search Engines are characterized by their integration of human cognition and collective intelligence in supplementing traditional algorithm-based search technologies. They are an evolving field, part of the broader realm of internet search engines, human-based computation, and web software.

Terms definitions
1. Search engine ( Search Engine ) A search engine is a vital tool that functions as part of a distributed computing system. It's a software system that responds to user queries by providing a list of hyperlinks, summaries, and images. It utilizes a complex indexing system, which is continuously updated by web crawlers that mine data from web servers. Some content, however, remains inaccessible to these crawlers. The speed and efficiency of a search engine are highly dependent on its indexing system. Users interact with search engines via a web browser or app, inputting queries and receiving suggestions as they type. The results may be filtered to specific types, and the system can be accessed on various devices. This tool is significant as it allows users to navigate the vast web, find relevant content, and efficiently retrieve information.
2. internet. The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use standardized communication protocols, primarily the TCP/IP, to link devices worldwide. Originating from the term 'internetted' used in 1849, the term 'Internet' was later used by the US War Department in 1945. Its development began with computer scientists creating time-sharing systems in the 1960s and further progressed with the establishment of ARPANET in 1969. The Internet is self-governed, without a central authority, and its principal name spaces are administered by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). It has significantly transformed traditional communication media and has grown exponentially over the years, with internet users increasing 20% to 50% annually. In 2019, over half of the world population used the Internet. The Internet protocol suite, which includes TCP/IP and four conceptual layers, guides internet packets to their destinations. Essential services like email and Internet telephony operate on the Internet. The World Wide Web, a global collection of interconnected documents, is a key component of the Internet.

A human search engine was a search engine that used human participation to filter the search results and assist users in clarifying their search request. The goal was to provide users with a limited number of relevant results, as opposed to traditional search engines that often return many results that may or may not be relevant.

Examples of defunct human search engines include ApexKB, ChaCha,, NowNow (from, DMOZ and Sproose.

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