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Businesses

Managing Human Workers With an Algorithm 186

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.'"
Social Networks

To Search Smarter, Find a Person? 136

Svonkie writes "Brendan Koerner reports in Wired Magazine that a growing number of ventures are using people, rather than algorithms, to filter the Internet's wealth of information. These ventures have a common goal: to enhance the Web with the kind of critical thinking that's alien to software but that comes naturally to humans. 'The vogue for human curation reflects the growing frustration Net users have with the limits of algorithms. Unhelpful detritus often clutters search results, thanks to online publishers who have learned how to game the system.'"

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