You've probably already heard about crowdsourcing platforms like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and CrowdFlower which offer anyone the ability to employ thousands of humans to perform on demand micro-assignments at pennies per task. But does crowdsourcing even work? What value can thousands of dislocated clicks really provide? Is this really the future of online labor? In this panel we’ll be examining the topic of crowdsourcing, the crowdsourced labor market, and the entrepreneurial and creative opportunities made possible by “human APIs.” We’ll also tackle some of the newest innovations in crowdsourcing such as virtual labor for virtual goods where Farmville and other MMPOG gamers are awarded in-game currency for doing real-world microwork such as tagging photos and filling out surveys. However there's growing concern that these Farmville migrant workers are being unfairly exploited. This is further complicated by the fact that many of them happen to be minors. But does it even make sense to equivocate their work with “normal” labor? Are there really people living in developing nations that live hand-to-mouth on their income from crowdsourcing? Finally, what are the regulatory and social considerations that we can expect in the future for this space?
Fred works for Kickstarter in Research & Dedvelopment and was previously employed as a Creative Commons' representative in NYC. He attended ITP and finished in '08, but also went to NYU for undergrad in philosophy and computer science and started Free Culture @ NYU during his senior year. He has taught at NYU undergrad and ITP in copyright and cyberlaw. Recently he funded and self-published Emoji Dick, a translation of Moby Dick in Japanese Emoji icons using Kickstarter and Amazon's Mechanical Turk.
These days he spends most of his waking hours working in R, Google Analytics, and Rails.
Jonathan Zittrain is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, co-founder of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and Professor of Computer Science in the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Internet Society and is on the board of advisors for Scientific American. Previously he was Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford University.
His research interests include battles for control of digital property and content, cryptography, electronic privacy, the roles of intermediaries within Internet architecture, and the useful and unobtrusive deployment of technology in education.
He performed the first large-scale tests of Internet filtering in China and Saudi Arabia in 2002, and now as part of the OpenNet Initiative he has co-edited a study of Internet filtering by national governments, "Access Denied: The Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering," and its sequel, "Access Controlled: The Shaping of Power, Rights, and Rule in Cyberspace."
His book "The Future of the Internet -- And How to Stop It" is available from Yale University Press and Penguin UK -- and under a Creative Commons license. Papers may be found at http://www.jz.org.
Lada A. Adamic is an associate professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. She is also affiliated with the Center for the Study of Complex Systems and EECS. Her research interests center on information dynamics in networks: how information diffuses, how it can be found, and how it influences the evolution of a network's structure. Her projects have included identifying expertise in online question and answer forums, studying the dynamics of viral marketing, and characterizing the structure in blogs and other online communities.
Prior to co-founding CrowdFlower, Lukas was a Senior Scientist and Manager within the Ranking and Management Team at Powerset, Inc., a natural language search technology company later acquired by Microsoft. Lukas has also led the Search Relevance Team for Yahoo! Japan. He graduated from Stanford University with a BS in Mathematics and an MS in Computer Science. Lukas is also an expert-level Go player.
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