About two years ago while researching a blog post on crowdsourcing, I discovered Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service. As a crowdsourced labor solution, the Turk completely turns around the relationship between computers and people. Instead of asking silicon to perform complex pattern matching (finding words or concepts in text documents), speech recognition (transcription), or image processing (identifying road signs in photos), why not have software call out for help? That is, we the humans become non-software subroutines that tap into our unique biological processing engines especially suited for CPU-stumping tasks.
Other companies have followed suit delivering what are essentially systems to manage piece-meal work for conceptually intensive tasks. CrowdFlower is one of them. They’ve taken the “labor in the cloud” model one step further.Continue reading