Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Managing Human Workers With an Algorithm

Managing Human Workers With an Algorithm:

New submitter prayag writes "With the advent of crowdsourcing platforms it has become easier for people to 'automate' simple, yet repetitive tasks that computers aren't good at by hiring thousands of people at once. This can help some business cheaply accomplish certain tasks, but it can also be misused by spammers. A company called MobileWorks is even outsourcing this concept, reaching out to workers in developing nations whose income needs aren't as high. 'Kulkarni, who founded the company in 2010 with fellow graduate students from the University of California, Berkeley, says the value of tasks is set so that workers can reasonably earn $2 to $4 an hour; payments are on a sliding scale, with lower rates for poorer countries. "Even though they are acting as agents of a computer program, we are creating an opportunity for them," he says. MobileWorks charges its clients rates starting at $5 per hour for workers' time.'"

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