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== Crowdsourcing: Basic Background and Competing Definitions ==
  
== Crowdsourcing ==
 
  
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''Definition'': Although crowdsourcing can have many meanings, we define it here to mean breaking down large tasks into small ones that can be performed asynchronously.
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* The Best Practices entry for crowdwork, developed last year and reposted on [[Class 3]], classifies crowdwork three ways:
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''First, a large group of workers may do microtasks to complete a whole project; the best-known platform in this arena is Amazon Mechanical Turk. Second, companies may use cloudwork platforms to connect with individual workers, or a small group of workers, who then complete larger jobs (e.g., Elance and oDesk). Finally, a company may run “contests,” where numerous workers complete a task and only the speediest or best worker is paid (e.g., InnoCentive and Worth1000). In some contests, the company commits to picking at least one winner; in others, there is no such guarant''ee.
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*''General Information on Crowdsourcing.''
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**For a quick overview by Jeff Howe, author of Crowdsourcing,[http://books.google.com/books?id=ge_0LBOcwWsC&printsec=frontcover&dq=crowdsourcing&hl=en&ei=QinGTKS9AcGAlAeHtLX-AQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false] take a look at this YouTube clip.[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0-UtNg3ots]
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**Northwestern University Professor Kris Hammond also explains crowdsourcing, but argues its downsides are worker rewards and quality.[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eX7RiV-wa_s&feature=related]
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**Our very own Jonathan Zittrain discusses crowdsourcing in his talk, ''Minds for Sale''.[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dw3h-rae3uo]
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**Several individuals gathered to discuss crowdsourcing in panel moderated by New York Times correspondent Brad Stone.[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxyUaWSblaA]
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*''In the News.''
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**The New York Times recently ran an article on crowdsourcing featuring two crowdsourcing companies:[http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/31/business/31digi.html?_r=1&ref=technology] Microtask[http://www.microtask.com/] and CloudCrowd.[http://www.cloudcrowd.com/]
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**It's interesting to note that these companies are attempting to monetize crowdsourcing in exactly the way in which Howe says it cannot be monetized successfully.
  
*''Definition'': Although crowdsourcing can have many meanings, we define it here to mean breaking down large tasks into small ones that can be performed asynchronously.
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== Research on Crowdsourcing ==
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== A Framework For Analyzing Issues in Crowdsourcing ==
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1. How do concerns of reputation and identity play into crowdsourced work quality?
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*tasks where want rep known, others not known
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*phone card/coupon system
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*Verification of workers is becoming a problem (can access the linked article through Harvard Library).[http://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2009/12/52830-crowdsourcing-and-the-question-of-expertise/fulltext]
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2. Can we ensure work quality using (semi)automated mechanisms?
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*Some have attempted to use crowdsourcing to ensure quality on crowsourced tasks using cheat detection mechanisms.[http://www3.informatik.uni-wuerzburg.de/TR/tr474.pdf] This can be done for both routine and complex tasks.
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3. Can we enhance work quality using a targeting system
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*Amazon rec, ebay sytle, MT?, differentiate tasks?

Latest revision as of 16:36, 24 November 2010

Crowdsourcing: Basic Background and Competing Definitions

Definition: Although crowdsourcing can have many meanings, we define it here to mean breaking down large tasks into small ones that can be performed asynchronously.

  • The Best Practices entry for crowdwork, developed last year and reposted on Class 3, classifies crowdwork three ways:

First, a large group of workers may do microtasks to complete a whole project; the best-known platform in this arena is Amazon Mechanical Turk. Second, companies may use cloudwork platforms to connect with individual workers, or a small group of workers, who then complete larger jobs (e.g., Elance and oDesk). Finally, a company may run “contests,” where numerous workers complete a task and only the speediest or best worker is paid (e.g., InnoCentive and Worth1000). In some contests, the company commits to picking at least one winner; in others, there is no such guarantee.

  • General Information on Crowdsourcing.
    • For a quick overview by Jeff Howe, author of Crowdsourcing,[1] take a look at this YouTube clip.[2]
    • Northwestern University Professor Kris Hammond also explains crowdsourcing, but argues its downsides are worker rewards and quality.[3]
    • Our very own Jonathan Zittrain discusses crowdsourcing in his talk, Minds for Sale.[4]
    • Several individuals gathered to discuss crowdsourcing in panel moderated by New York Times correspondent Brad Stone.[5]
  • In the News.
    • The New York Times recently ran an article on crowdsourcing featuring two crowdsourcing companies:[6] Microtask[7] and CloudCrowd.[8]
    • It's interesting to note that these companies are attempting to monetize crowdsourcing in exactly the way in which Howe says it cannot be monetized successfully.

Research on Crowdsourcing

A Framework For Analyzing Issues in Crowdsourcing

1. How do concerns of reputation and identity play into crowdsourced work quality?

  • tasks where want rep known, others not known
  • phone card/coupon system
  • Verification of workers is becoming a problem (can access the linked article through Harvard Library).[9]

2. Can we ensure work quality using (semi)automated mechanisms?

  • Some have attempted to use crowdsourcing to ensure quality on crowsourced tasks using cheat detection mechanisms.[10] This can be done for both routine and complex tasks.

3. Can we enhance work quality using a targeting system

  • Amazon rec, ebay sytle, MT?, differentiate tasks?