Wright: HiveMind would use collected data in similar vein to Google Maps

By Stephany Nunneley, Friday, 18 November 2011 19:40 GMT

Will Wright has explained a bit more how HiveMind would go about mining user data for his game concept of the same name: using a psychological test similar to one someone would take when signing up for a dating service.

Speaking in an interview with VentureBeat, Wright said in order for folks to hand over private data, it will be a matter of “getting past a psychological issue.”

“If we would really get the user on our side and provide them with immediate and obvious value for every bit of personal information they give us, then we will be able to get it more easily,” he said. “If you look at how much time people spend putting personal data into the psychological evaluations for a dating site, you see you can get people to pour in lots of data. They reveal how they see themselves and how they see things in the world. In terms of data that we would like but we can’t get, I don’t think there isn’t any. I think that if we get enough user involvement, we can get almost any data that we want. It’s a matter of the user wanting us to have it.

“So I see this as more of a psychological battle than anything else. We have designed entrainment experiences that will make users want to give us that data. And from that, if we get an enough, we can actually start predicting and creating a lot of it ourselves.”

Wright said the data information will be implemented in a similar fashion to Google Maps with traffic data, which can predict the situations drivers will face based on time of day, weather, and previous traffic patterns derived from data collection.

“Assuming we have got large enough data sets, we can use similar techniques where the users are giving us some sense of what they do during a typical day, how is the feeling, we get that data and then we can actually start predicting ahead what’s on that schedule,” Wright explained. “We can predict how you will be feeling about what you’re about to do. And the system could even tell the user to give corrections occasionally when its way off. We think we can build an entertainment experience around that.

“So we try to think about everything we have in terms of data and then build an entertainment experience around that and then we make that experience fulfilling so that to the player actually wants to keep doing it and giving the data. For us, that is going to be the secret sauce.

“If we can turn data acquisition into an entertainment experience and really make it entertaining, we have got the opportunity to capture this really unique set of data on individuals that we could never capture right now.”

HiveMind is still in the developmental stages and a target date has yet to be announced.

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