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From 'Software as a Service' to 'Human as a Service': Crowdsourcing of Microwork


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MAY 26, 2015

Crowdsourcing of microwork is the latest addition in today’s fast paced growing cloud technologies. With crowdsourcing, hobbyists, part-timers, and dabblers suddenly have a market for their efforts. In present global network, companies are not only trying to tap the talent of the crowd but also leveraging new opportunities by directly interacting with masses. Let’s see Sam’s case.

Sam spends nearly 4-5 hours on internet. He is active on every popular social media platform like Facebook, Google plus Twitter, MySpace, Gameszone etc. He loves photo editing, text editing, graphic design, web-design, coding etc. As a fresh graduate, these activities are his routine but the bitter part is that he is still unemployed. Wouldn't it be worthy if he gets paid for these things? This is the place where ‘Crowdsourcing of microwork’ comes in.

Microwork is a work that can be completed in a small block of time on a paid or voluntary basis. It is most often used to describe tasks for which no efficient algorithm has been made, and require human intelligence for reliable result. The Crowdsourcing model targets web community users as virtual labor force. Workers sign in to see a list of tasks that have been posted to the market. For each task, they see a short description, the name the requester chooses to display, the payoff for doing the task. A task might be marking the color of the product pictured in an image provided by the requester, or it might be small coding. There may be 10 instances of a given task or there may be 10,000. In this way, the model actively manages the online activity of engaged user communities to elicit the crowd’s latent productivity and creativity.

Crowdsourcing can be applied to a variety of tasks ranging from complex problem-solving and open innovation in specific domains to small micro-tasks such as working in a cloud call center, quality rating on a Wikipedia article, giving an answer to requester's problem, customer feedback for a new product, small coding, translation of a paragraph from Hindi to English, or visual perception of a graphic in shape and position.In recent years, the crowdsourcing sector has grown with the appearance of a number of new companies. Samasource, LiveOps, InnoCentive, Amazon's Amazon Mechanical Turk, Mobileworks, Cloudfactory are few names which are solely based on crowdsourcing.

Crowdsourcing of microwork is providing a large benefit to less developed economies. The model is effectively used for work to be conducted by a marginalized or disadvantaged community. With this platform, an unemployed person can work for 'Fortune 500' companies. At the same time, companies are also getting things done for very less money.This cloud based model is not only helping the companies in meeting their current demand but also facilitating them in finding more opportunities for tomorrow.