Human powered search engine for the common Indian
Poor people in India can now access search engines and information through their mobile phones
Question Box is an initiative by Open Mind (India), a non-profit organization which is trying to make search engines accessible to India’s rural and poor population. It consists of a telephone intercom that works at the press of a button, connecting the user to an operator sitting in front of a computer with Internet access. Users ask the operator questions in their local language, and the operator goes online, finds the answers, and translates the results back into the users’ local language. The service’s back-end software logs all call data and indexes queries and answers, making it smarter over time. The Question Box itself runs completely off the infrastructure grid, powered by mobile phones and solar technologies. It is usually installed in small village and slum marketplaces. Users also have the option of calling the operator directly from their mobile phones instead of the Question Box.