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The Future of Crowd Work

16th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Coooperative Work (CSCW 2013), Forthcoming

17 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2012  

Aniket Kittur

Carnegie Mellon University - School of Computer Science

Jeffrey V. Nickerson

Stevens Institute of Technology - School of Business

Michael S. Bernstein

Stanford University

Elizabeth M. Gerber

Northwestern University

Aaron Shaw

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society; University of California, Berkeley - Department of Sociology

John Zimmerman

Carnegie Mellon University

Matthew Lease

University of Texas at Austin

John J. Horton

New York University (NYU) - Department of Information, Operations, and Management Sciences

Date Written: December 18, 2012

Abstract

Paid crowd work offers remarkable opportunities for improving productivity, social mobility, and the global economy by engaging a geographically distributed workforce to complete complex tasks on demand and at scale. But it is also possible that crowd work will fail to achieve its potential, focusing on assembly-line piecework. Can we foresee a future crowd workplace in which we would want our children to participate? This paper frames the major challenges that stand in the way of this goal. Drawing on theory from organizational behavior and distributed computing, as well as direct feedback from workers, we outline a framework that will enable crowd work that is complex, collaborative, and sustainable. The framework lays out research challenges in twelve major areas: workflow, task assignment, hierarchy, real-time response, synchronous collaboration, quality control, crowds guiding AIs, AIs guiding crowds, platforms, job design, reputation, and motivation.

Keywords: Crowdsourcing, crowd work, organization design, research vision

JEL Classification: O31, J40, J24, D20

Suggested Citation

Kittur, Aniket and Nickerson, Jeffrey V. and Bernstein, Michael S. and Gerber, Elizabeth M. and Shaw, Aaron and Zimmerman, John and Lease, Matthew and Horton, John J., The Future of Crowd Work (December 18, 2012). 16th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Coooperative Work (CSCW 2013), Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2190946

Aniket Kittur

Carnegie Mellon University - School of Computer Science ( email )

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
United States

Jeffrey V. Nickerson (Contact Author)

Stevens Institute of Technology - School of Business ( email )

Hoboken, NJ 07030
United States

Michael S. Bernstein

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Elizabeth M. Gerber

Northwestern University ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Aaron Shaw

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Sociology

410 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

John Zimmerman

Carnegie Mellon University ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

Matthew Lease

University of Texas at Austin ( email )

Austin, TX 78712
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.ischool.utexas.edu/~ml

John J. Horton

New York University (NYU) - Department of Information, Operations, and Management Sciences ( email )

44 West Fourth Street
New York, NY 10012
United States
6175952437 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://john-joseph-horton.com

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