wisdom (and folly) of the crowds

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Wisdom (and Folly) of the CrowdsJessica Keup


OutlineDefinitionsUsesPros/ConsCrowdsourcing MarketplacesCrowdsourcing Research


HistoryCrowdsourcing is a method of solving problems with, and outsourcing work, to the collective online intelligence

James Surowiecki - The Wisdom of Crowds, 2005


HistoryRemember 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.

Jeff Howe - The Rise of Crowdsourcing, 2006

Crowdsourcing vs . . .Outsourcing work given to pre-decided person or groupOpen Sourceinitiated by public, not a client

Examples?Digg/Reddit iStockPhoto Netflix prizeThreadlessReCAPTCHAGoogle image labelerEquitySplash / Piqqem


Best UsesImage taggingSearch relevance evaluationContent generationProduct categorizationCollecting feedback and reviewsTranscriptions

ProsLabor at reduced costAround-the-clockHuge potential workforceVariety of opinions, ideas, experienceConsensus and better answers




Solving captchas9

FixesCheating/manipulationcorroboration, ratingsInexperience/ignorancequalification testsConfidentiality?


Crowdsourcing MarketplacesCrowdFlowerMechanical TurkCloud Crowd BootbcrowdSPRING Innocentive TopCoder Kluster

11MicropaymentsAll pay auctions

mTurkArtificial Artificial IntelligenceHuman Intelligence Tasks (HITs)$0.00 and up, mostly a few centsSDKs in Java, Ruby, Perl, .NETOr, create through website UI*


Training AIComputer Music Composition using Crowdsourcing and Genetic AlgorithmsDarwinTunes


Research Examplescollecting creative drawings rating audio and video sample quality tagging location-sensitive queries and points of interest with mobile devices remote massage task delegation in Wikipedia collecting volunteer expertise to help the homeless annotating political campaign ads


More Research examplesdescribing and organizing geometric shapes*tracking popular music rating search result relevance collecting user feedback extracting product and brand information tagging specific objects in an imagetraining speech recognition software




ReferencesAlonso, O., Rose, D.E., and Stewart, B. (2008). Crowdsourcing for Relevance Evaluation. SIGIR Forum 42(2) 9-15. Amazon.com, Inc. (2010). Amazon Mechanical Turk. https://www.mturk.com/mturk/welcome. CastingWords (2010). Audio transcription services: plus video, CDs, podcasts and more. http://castingwords.com/ Chung, K., Chiu, C., Xiao, X., & Chi, P. (2009). Stress outsourced: A haptic social network via crowdsourcing. Paper presented at the CHI EA '09: Proceedings of the 27th International Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Boston, MA, USA. 2439-2448.DarwinTunes (2010). Welcome to DarwinTunes. http://darwintunes.org/Ganjisaffar, Y., Javanmardi, S., & Lopes, C. (2009). Leveraging crowdsourcing heuristics to improve search in wikipedia. Paper presented at theWikiSym '09: Proceedings of the 5th International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration,Orlando, Florida. 1-2.Harper, F. M., Raban, D., Rafaeli, S. & Konstan, J. A. (2008). Predictors of answer quality in online Q & A sites. Paper presented at the CHI '08: Proceeding of the Twenty-Sixth Annual SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Florence, Italy. 865-874.Hintikka, K. A. (2008). Web 2.0 and the collective intelligence. Paper presented at the MindTrek '08: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Entertainment and Media in the Ubiquitous Era, Tampere, Finland. 163-166.Howe, J. (2006). The Rise of Crowdsourcing. Wired, 14(6). http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.06/crowds.html.

More ReferencesHsueh, P., Melville, P., & Sindhwani, V. (2009). Data quality from crowdsourcing: A study of annotation selection criteria. Paper presented at theHLT '09: Proceedings of the NAACL HLT 2009 Workshop on Active Learning for Natural Language Processing,Boulder, Colorado. 27-35.Jagadeesan, A. P., Lynn, A., Corney, J. R., Yan, X. T., Wenzel, J., Sherlock, A., et al. (2009). Geometric reasoning via internet CrowdSourcing. Paper presented at theSPM '09: 2009 SIAM/ACM Joint Conference on Geometric and Physical Modeling,San Francisco, California. 313-318.Kittur, A., Chi, ,E. H., & Suh, B. (2008). Crowdsourcing user studies with mechanical turk. Paper presented at the CHI '08: Proceeding of the Twenty-Sixth Annual SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Florence, Italy. 453-456. Koblin, A. M. (2009). The sheep market. Paper presented at theC&C '09: Proceeding of the Seventh ACM Conference on Creativity and Cognition,Berkeley, California, USA. 451-452.Krieger, M., Stark, E. M., & Klemmer, S. R. (2009). Coordinating tasks on the commons: Designing for personal goals, expertise and serendipity. Paper presented at theCHI '09: Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems,Boston, MA, USA. 1485-1494.Ledlie, J., Odero, B., Minkov, E., Kiss, I., & Polifroni, J. (2009). Crowd translator: On building localized speech recognizers through micropayments.SIGOPS Operating.Systems Review,43(4), 84-89.Li, C., Buyuktur, A. G., Hutchful, D. K., Sant, N. B., & Nainwal, S. K. (2008). Portalis: Using competitive online interactions to support aid initiatives for the homeless. Paper presented at theCHI '08: CHI '08 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems,Florence, Italy. 3873-3878.

Even More ReferencesMannes, A. E. (2009). Are we wise about the wisdom of crowds? the use of group judgments in belief revision.Management Science,55(8), 1267-1279.Mason, W., & Watts, D. J. (2009). Financial incentives and the performance of crowds. Paper presented at theHCOMP '09: Proceedings of the ACM SIGKDD Workshop on Human Computation,Paris, France. 77-85.Milne, D., & Witten, I. H. (2008). Learning to link with wikipedia. Paper presented at theCIKM '08: Proceedings of the 17th ACM Conference on Information and Knowledge Management,Napa Valley, California, USA. 509-518.Roman, D. (2009). Crowdsourcing and the question of expertise.Commnuications of the.ACM,52(12), 12-12.Stewart, O., Huerta, J. M., & Sader, M. (2009). Designing crowdsourcing community for the enterprise. Paper presented at theHCOMP '09: Proceedings of the ACM SIGKDD Workshop on Human Computation,Paris, France. 50-53.Su, Q., Pavlov, D., Chow, J., & Baker, W. C. (2007). Internet-scale collection of human-reviewed data. Paper presented at the WWW '07: Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on World Wide Web, Banff, Alberta, Canada. 231-240.Surowiecki, J. (2005). The wisdom of crowds. Anchor.Tanaka, A., Tokui, N., & Momeni, A. (2005). Facilitating collective musical creativity. Paper presented at theMULTIMEDIA '05: Proceedings of the 13th Annual ACM International Conference on Multimedia, Hilton, Singapore. 191-198.Von Ahn L., & Dabbish, L. (2004). Labeling images with a computer game. Paper presented at the CHI '04: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Vienna, Austria. 319-326.


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