Human workers, managed by an algorithm

August 1, 2012

(Credit: MobileWorks)

The latest trend in crowdsourcing is organizing foreign workers on a mass scale to do routine tasks that computers aren’t yet good at, assigned by an algorithm,¬†Technology Review¬†reports.

Several startups, including CrowdFlower and CrowdSource, have written software that works on top of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, adding ways to test and rank workers, match them up to tasks, and organize work so it gets double- or triple-checked.

MobileWorks has its own workflow software, but it’s also trying to solve the incentive problem by recruiting workers overseas, in developing nations like India, where low payments can still add up to meaningful income.