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News & Insights

News & Insights

Speaking with the Future of Crowdsourcing

Recently, I had the honor of delivering a guest lecture at The Information School at The University of Texas in Austin, which is proudly my alma mater. The class was Human Computation & Crowdsourcing, taught by Dr. Matt Lease. It was a sincere privilege for me and for IEI to join his students for an afternoon class.

A few years ago, I joined Information Evolution as a senior project manager. My main objective at the time was to figure out how to use crowdsourcing for everyday data collection. I understood the concepts of crowdsourcing but was unfamiliar with the mechanics, and it would still be several years before Crowdsourcing for Dummies (2013) hit the shelves. I charted my own course through the learning curve, and the navigation was often very tricky.

Today, I have the benefit of several years of managing crowdsourcing projects in the business world. My recent experience at The University of Texas allowed me to peek inside the academic world—and it is vibrant and exciting. During this lecture, students:

  • Viewed a real-time crowdsourcing language experiment
  • Discussed their recent experiences as actual Turkers
  • Exchanged views on crowdsourcing ethics
  • Reviewed scamming practices

My presentation included a review of the mechanics of crowdsourcing and some real-world business applications, which led to a fascinating discussion. I absolutely learned a thing or two myself.

These students are the crowdsourcing managers of the future. They have access to vast amounts of study and practical application. Considering that the field is so new, these men and women will truly change the way work is done in the future.

Crowdsourcing is fascinating because it is a work process that is evolving and changing right before our eyes. When today’s students enter the working world, their valuable knowledge and steady this unwieldy ship. Their navigation and control will drive powerful and positive changes in the field of data collection to the economic benefit of businesses and workers around the world.

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