“[Video] data annotation is super labor-intensive. Each hour of data collected takes almost 800 human hours to annotate. How are you going to scale that?”
-Sameep Tandon, CEO of Drive.ai, an autonomous car startup in Silicon Valley and CloudFactory client
Deep inside of many organizations lies digital work that is routine, repetitive and incredibly tedious...but also critically important. For some businesses, this work is core to their customer experience. Like a big tech company that relies on accurate data sets to fuel machine learning algorithms that create an insanely personal, relevant user experience, or a startup that relies on accurate and timely web data to keep their customers ahead of constantly changing trends.
Amazon recently announced that their Mechanical Turk (AMT) online work platform will be changing their commission structure for requesters. Fees will be doubled across the board from 10% to 20% of the total paid by requesters. For organizations needing a group of workers larger than 10, it will actually quadruple from 10% to 40%! According to Amazon these changes “would be intended to allow us to increase our investment in the marketplace and bring future innovation to Mechanical Turk that will benefit both Requesters and Workers.”
An Era for Startups:
While success for startups is far from assured, resources are widely available and barriers to entry have never been lower. Whether that be access to capital through crowdfunding and VCs, distributed talent pools, or the proliferation of startup incubators, new businesses are forming at exponential rates (and not just in Silicon Valley!).
The very idea that a business can leverage a massive crowd to work for pennies on the dollar compared to full time employees is irresistible. Dreams of a massive crowd working on your business day and night while you focus on growing and serving your customers is an appealing prospect, but, is it too good to be true? Well, that all depends...
This is a guest post by Lauren Maffeo. Lauren loves travel, running, and the written word. She oversees content strategy at Aha! -- the world's #1 product roadmap software. Previously, she has earned bylines as a contributing writer to The Next Web, The Guardian, Mic, and more. Her work has been cited by The Atlantic, Huffington Post, and the textbook, "Digital Innovations for Mass Communications: Engaging the User".
Last month, I spoke on a panel hosted by Tech in Motion in Washington, D.C. The panel discussed a year-in-review of 2014 tech news and made predictions for 2015. We reviewed themes including regulation, cybersecurity, and emerging technology. It was apparent that technology's pace is hard to keep up with -- and that software permeates it all.
DURHAM, N.C., October 10, 2014 – CloudFactory, a distributed labor platform melding human and machine intelligence, today announced it has raised $3 million in a Series A offering led by VRBO founder David Clouse, with participation from other institutional and angel investors.
CloudFactory’s unique combination of technology and a dedicated cloud workforce lets fellow technology-based companies grow their businesses by creating new revenue streams, improving customer retention, and widening adoption, by adding capabilities that can’t be accomplished with technology alone. CloudFactory’s technology platform breaks work down into a series of smaller tasks along a virtual production line, intelligently distributes the tasks to the optimal workers, and reassembles the completed tasks, all while continuously assuring quality both manually and algorithmically.
The term "Crowdsourcing" which was coined by Jeff Howe in 2006 in Wired Magazine is now becoming a mainstream business. Today crowdsourcing is a billion dollar industry and is being used by several small, medium and big sizes firm to solve their business problems.
Living overseas in a developing country has brought a lot of new challenges and changes for our family. One of them is how we cook and prepare our meals, there just isn't a lot of frozen, canned and other processed foods available. My wife has learned how to work magic with flour, sugar, butter, salt, etc for baking everything from scratch and turning garlic, onions, spices and other vegetables into a fantastic meal. We even have a fresh pasta roller now - it all seems pretty rustic and labor intensive but in some way it has been yet another really refreshing advantage of escaping the rat race.