The Rise of Crowdsourcing
Remember outsourcing? Sending jobs to India and China is so 2003. The new pool of cheap labor: everyday people using their spare cycles to create content, solve problems, even do corporate R & D.
All these companies grew up in the Internet age and were designed to take advantage of the networked world. But now the productive potential of millions of plugged-in enthusiasts is attracting the attention of old-line businesses, too. For the last decade or so, companies have been looking overseas, to India or China, for cheap labor. But now it doesn’t matter where the laborers are – they might be down the block, they might be in Indonesia – as long as they are connected to the network.
Technological advances in everything from product design software to digital video cameras are breaking down the cost barriers that once separated amateurs from professionals. Hobbyists, part-timers, and dabblers suddenly have a market for their efforts, as smart companies in industries as disparate as pharmaceuticals and television discover ways to tap the latent talent of the crowd. The labor isn’t always free, but it costs a lot less than paying traditional employees. It’s not outsourcing; it’s crowdsourcing.
Gepubliceerd op Wired
2006-06-09, door Inne ten Have
Google heeft nu 'Image Labeler'
Welcome to Google Image Labeler, a new feature of Google Image Search that allows you to label random images to help improve the quality of Google's image search results.
How does it work?
You'll be randomly paired with a partner who's online and using the feature. Over a 90-second period, you and your partner will be shown the same set of images and asked to provide as many labels as possible to describe each image you see. When your label matches your partner's label, you'll earn some points and move on to the next image until time runs out. After time expires, you can explore the images you've seen and the websites where those images were found. And we'll show you the points you've earned throughout the session
2006-09-16, door Inne ten Have
Simply defined, crowdsourcing represents the act of a company or institution taking a function once performed by employees and outsourcing it to an undefined (and generally large) network of people in the form of an open call. This can take the form of peer-production (when the job is performed collaboratively), but is also often undertaken by sole individuals. The crucial prerequisite is the use of the open call format and the large network of potential laborers.
Een weblog over voorbeelden en discussies over crowdsourcing:
2006-10-25, door Inne ten Have
Our world has certainly changed if Pearson, the publishing giant behind the Financial Times, Les Echos or Penguin Books, has decided to use a wiki to create a new business book. According to the Wall Street Journal in U.K.’s Pearson Tests The Group Dynamic For a ‘Wiki’ Book (paid registration required), Pearson will collaborate with the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School on a book exploring how businesses can use online communities, consumer-generated media such as blogs and other online services. But read more…
This book will be called We Are Smarter Than Me and will be written by people like you and me who will submit their contributions to the WeAreSmarter.org website whose motto is “Be an author of the first networked book on business.” The site contains the chapter headings and a few starting pages. Here is how the book will be written.
For instance, a chapter titled “We Can Research It,” tells an anecdote about an Australian man who started a mail-order brewery based on votes by 20,000 cellphone users on what makes an ideal beer. Other participants can then edit the contents or add anecdotes.
The wiki leaders expect business consultants and executives to contribute to the book site, which, like Wikipedia, doesn’t pay writers for their work. The site is open to anyone, but does ask contributors to supply information. WeAreSmarter expects to close submissions to the book wiki by the end of the first quarter next year and turn it over to paid ghostwriters to turn it into a 120-page business book aimed at the fast-growing airport bookstore market.
The contributors will not be paid but the book will not be free. It’s expected to be sold for $25.99. And all profits will be given to a charity chosen by the contributors.
The WeAreSmarter.org gives more details on the goals of the book.
The central premise of We Are Smarter Than Me is that large groups of people (”We”) can, and should, take responsibility for traditional business functions that are currently performed by companies, industries and experts (”Me”).
And here is an example taken in the real world.
Procter & Gamble is recruiting 600,000 housewives to help market its products through word of mouth. In return for much greater reach and impact, the company is giving up control of the marketing message, relying on its community of customers/marketers to craft their own message in the most appropriate fashion.
Geschreven door Roland Piquepaille
op Blogs for Companies
2006-11-21, door Inne ten Have
Lezing op Google Video van Luis von Ahn
Tasks like image recognition are trivial for humans, but continue to challenge even the most sophisticated computer programs. This talk introduces a paradigm for utilizing human processing power to solve problems that computers cannot yet solve.
Traditional approaches to solving such problems focus on improving software. I advocate a novel approach: constructively channel human brainpower using computer games.
For example, the ESP Game, described in this talk, is an enjoyable online game -- many people play over 40 hours a week -- and when people play, they help label images on the Web with descriptive keywords. These keywords can be used to significantly improve the accuracy of image search. People play the game not because they want to help, but because they enjoy it.
I describe other examples of "games with a purpose": Peekaboom, which helps determine the location of objects in images, and Verbosity, which collects common-sense knowledge. I also explain a general approach for constructing games with a purpose.
Link gekregen van Gerard Kromhout
2006-12-14, door Inne ten Have
Using Games to Generate Useful Data
The Free-Assocation Game is similar to the real-life game Taboo. In this game, you are randomly assigned a partner. You then are given a series of words; for each word, you and your partner type words that are "associated" with that word. However, you are not allowed to type any of the words on the "taboo" list. The goal is to type the same thing as your partner; you are then awarded points and move on to a new word.
Categorilla is similar to the real-life game Scattergories. Again, you are assigned a random partner. You and your partner are given a set of 10 categories, and a letter. You then type words that match each category; as soon as you and your partner type the same thing, you get points for that category.
Gevonden via Lukas Biewald's Blog
2007-03-07, door Inne ten Have
Crowdsourcing: A Million Heads is Better than One
Crowdsourcing can be looked at as an application of the wisdom of crowds concept, in which the knowledge and talents of a group of people is leveraged to create content and solve problems. The official definition from the term’s originator, Jeff Howe, is "the act of a company or institution taking a function once performed by employees and outsourcing it to an undefined (and generally large) network of people in the form of an open call."
Crowdsourcing can be broken down in to three categories:
Let’s take a look at those...
- creation (like Wikipedia);
- prediction (like Yahoo! Buzz); and
- organization (like Google).
Gevonden op Read/WriteWeb
2007-03-23, door Inne ten Have
Artificial Intelligence, With Help From the Humans
COMPUTERS still do some things very poorly. Even when they pool their memory and processors in powerful networks, they remain unevenly intelligent. Things that humans do with little conscious thought, such as recognizing patterns or meanings in images, language or concepts, only baffle the machines.
These lacunae in computers’ abilities would be of interest only to computer scientists, except that many individuals and companies are finding it harder to locate and organize the swelling mass of information that our digital civilization creates.
The problem has prompted a spooky, but elegant, business idea: why not use the Web to create marketplaces of willing human beings who will perform the tasks that computers cannot? Jeff Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon.com, has created Amazon Mechanical Turk, an online service involving human workers, and he has also personally invested in a human-assisted search company called ChaCha. Mr. Bezos describes the phenomenon very prettily, calling it “artificial artificial intelligence.”
“Normally, a human makes a request of a computer, and the computer does the computation of the task,” he said. “But artificial artificial intelligences like Mechanical Turk invert all that. The computer has a task that is easy for a human but extraordinarily hard for the computer. So instead of calling a computer service to perform the function, it calls a human.”
Gepubliceerd op NY Times
2007-03-25, door Inne ten Have
reCAPTCHA: A new way to fight spam
You've probably seen a CAPTCHA before. It's those funky letters you have to enter before you sign up for an account on almost any website. I'm proud to announce a new type of CAPTCHA: reCAPTCHA.
You might notice that reCAPTCHA has two words. Why? reCAPTCHA is more than a CAPTCHA, it also helps to digitize old books. One of the words in reCAPTCHA is a word that the computer knows what it is, much like a normal CAPTCHA. However, the other word is a word that the computer can't read. When you solve a reCAPTCHA, we not only check that you are a human, but use the result on the other word to help read the book!
Luis von Ahn and myself estimated that about 60 million CAPTCHAs are solved every day. Assuming that each CAPTCHA takes 10 seconds to solve, this is over 160,000 human hours per day (that's about 19 years). Harnessing even a fraction of this time for reading books will greatly help efforts in digitalizing books.
Geschreven door Ben Maurer op zijn blog
2007-05-24, door Inne ten Have
Crowdsourcing a Sports Team
This is an interview with William Brooks. He is 36 years old, a passionate Fulham fan and started MyFootballClub. The project is about finding 50,000 people interested in running a soccer club - crowdsourced style. For detailed information you can look at Springwise and this article in The Times. You can also look at Digg for a discussion about what it is for and which chances the concept may have. William Brooks worked as a writer for a football fanzine and currently as an advertising copyrighter.
2007-05-29, door Inne ten Have
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