Tag Archives: Mechanical Turk


See hear: crowdsourced subtitles for everyday life

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… available at certain times. The Rochester research team, led by Walter Lasecki, instead rely on Mechanical Turk users to provide live translation for a fraction of the cost, day or night.

As well as helping deaf people navigate the noisy world, this crowdsourced transcription system is perfect for travelers who don’t speak the local language. The researchers plan to launch a smartphone app called Legion:Scribe this October, which will help you pay too much for souvenirs in almost any …

Tags: Amazon Mechanical Turk George Lucas Mechanical Turk Scribe Star Trek subtitles Universal Translator University of Rochester

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Distributed work and data security: can the crowd keep a secret?

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… any confidential information stays on the QT?

Crowd control

Six years after the launch of Mechanical Turk, crowd labor platforms have become pretty good at extracting high-quality, consistent results from workers. But in some ways, confidentiality is even more crucial than accuracy. A bad data set and you’ll probably have to rerun some tasks. Bad data security and you might end up several million dollars worse off (as Google Buzz recently learnt the hard way).

Many of the basic …

Tags: Amazon Mechanical Turk CastingWords crowd Crowdflower crowdsourcing distributed work Julian Assange microtask microwork Scott McNealy Sun Microsystems Wikileaks

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Crowdsourcing global development: working theories

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… relationship with the developing world.

Take the much quoted statistic that 33% of workers on Mechanical Turk are located in India. It sounds impressive, right? Thousands of people in a developing country using Mechanical Turk to earn some much needed extra rupees. But according to a recent study by Microsoft Research India, the vast majority of Indian Turkers are college graduates with above-average household incomes. In other words, mainly middle class kids.

We like to think of paid …

Tags: Amazon Mechanical Turk crowd crowdsourcing India Madonna mechanicalturk microwork O'Reilly Radar Social sciences Spam

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Read all about it! Crowd makes the news

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… stir in the blogosphere. Why? Because it was researched, written and edited entirely by workers on Mechanical Turk.

Word processors

Here’s the scoop. Two journalists, Jim Giles and MacGregor Campbell, have begun an experiment in collaboration with researchers from Carnegie-Mellon University (“collaboration” as in the researchers do the work and the journalists blog about it). The aim is to

“try and create an automated system for producing quality journalism using Mechanical

Tags: Amazon Mechanical Turk AOL Arianna Huffington Carnegie Mellon University Charlie Sheen crowd crowdsourcing crowdsourcing platform Demand Media distributed work Huffington Post Journalism microwork

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The reluctant crowdsourcer: a decade of Wikipedia

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… to compare the gender of Wikipedia contributors with crowdsourced workers. A 2010 survey of Mechanical Turk found roughly equal numbers of male and female Turkers – in the US, women were actually the majority. The question is: why isn’t this active, female crowd also churning out Wikipedia articles? We know crowdsourced workers aren’t just in it for the money and that many prefer complex and rewarding tasks.

One factor could be the attitude of those in charge at Wikipedia. …

Tags: Amazon Mechanical Turk crowd crowdsourcing crowdsourcing platform distributed work eBay google Jimmy Wales Mechanical Turk Wikimedia Foundation Wikipedia

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