Tag Archives: digital outsourcing


From millions of tasks to thousands of jobs: Bringing digital work to the developing world

Posted on by Vili Lehdonvirta

… benefited in some way from the unprecedented access to knowledge and services brought about by the digital revolution. But producing the knowledge banks and services has so far been a predominately rich-country business. The world’s poorest countries have generally not been able to participate in the production side of the digital economy and share in its rewards. This is changing, however, and an initiative lead by the World Bank’s infoDev program is helping to shape the change.

As the …

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Some work is born digital: from gold farmers to game masters

Posted on by Vili Lehdonvirta

… less attention than it perhaps deserves. This aspect is the emergence of work that is “born digital”. “Born digital” is a term originally used to denote products such as books and music that are created directly in digital form, as opposed to being digitized versions of analogue materials. It has also been applied to the generations of consumers who have grown up with digital technology around them. Both are now so ubiquitous that they are hardly worth mentioning. But what is less …

Tags: captcha crowdsourcing digital labor human computation Mechanical Turk richard heeks world of warcraft

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Happily ever after: how bored workers and their bosses can benefit from crowdsourcing

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… down our carefully cultivated air of magic and mystery with new research on the demographics of digital labor (I can handle losing a little mystique, but nobody better go anywhere near my special Microtask wizard’s hat). Some of the results do not make pleasant reading for traditional employers.

The research found that nearly 75% of those surveyed have a job outside of their Turk work and 21% perform tasks while at another job. Although this is a great way for workers to boost their …

Tags: business crowd crowdsourcing Digital employment microtask microwork Napster odesk work

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Crowds against the Machine: will digital workers soon be digitized?

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… images be exactly the kind of microtask you’d expect outfits like ours to distribute to digital workers? If a bunch of robots will soon be able to complete such tasks faster and cheaper, will microtasks become just a footnote in the history of A.I.?

Before we all pack up and donate our office space to cybernetics, it’s worth considering the fundamental premise of distributed microtasks. As most people who read this blog know, microtasks generally fit into a category known as …

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We, Robot: A Vision of What’s to Come

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

When I was growing up and spending too much time watching cartoons, I met George Jetson, and Jane (his wife) . When I got to know Rosie, the Jetson’s robot maid (whom they loved and would never replace or upgrade) I became very hopeful for a future free of household chores.

Alas, at the time of writing, I am still without a robotic aide. Although the use of robotics …

Tags: cloud labor collective intelligence computer vision digital outsourcing human computation mass collaboration Mechanical Turk research robotics

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