How to Protect the Crowd Worker

Guest_Jim_* - February 13, 2013 07:58AM in Science & Technology

The Internet is a portal to the people of the world and for several years now, some have been taking advantage of that portal to get the people to do work for them. Such crowdsourced work can take on many forms, from the simple resource borrowing of Folding@Home to the massive human efforts needed for more complex jobs. Now researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and other institutions are looking into how to ensure the crowdworker is not taken advantage, while also improving their quality.

Some crowd-work vendors actually compensate their workers by paying them based on tasks, or having them compete for prizes, but as crowd work is not actually employment, the worker lacks the structure and support of an actual job. The researchers suggest three major steps to protecting and improving crowd workers: creating career ladders to identify the best workers; improved task design and communication; and tutoring to train the workers.

At the heart of the matter is the researchers' desire to make sure the crowd includes the best workers and that they remain crowd works. To achieve this they wish to make crowdsourced work more attractive to the workers while also encouraging them to become more effective.

Source: Carnegie Mellon University