CrowdControl is a New York startup that claims it is the “Human Powered Computer”. It is a software that breaks a big task into chunks and distributes these to microtask workers around the world.
This might sound familiar because Amazon has done it through its Mechanical Turk. Crowd Control, in fact, partnered with Amazon to add quality control to judge worker accuracy.
Crowd Control CEO Max Yanklevich summarized the problem in the existing crowdsourcing system “The throughput and the price look good, you can have a thousand people complete a job in an hour for a penny a piece but the quality [can be] really atrocious.”
CrowdControl solves this problem through more than 15,000 rules to check accuracy. Some of these involve giving the task multiple times and searching for similar responses. It also asks “gold questions” or questions it already knows answers to and measures how many time the respondent gets it right.
Another simple method used is statistics. If someone took only 30 seconds to complete an our’s job, he can either be Superman (highly unlikely) or did a hasty and mediocre job.
This systems does not only benefit customers, but workers as well. CrowdControl rewards those who are constantly doing quality work and only pays for accurate work.
We are at the age of smartphones and supercomputers, but crowdsourcing startups such as CrowdControl and CrowdFlower prove that there are some tasks only the human brain is designed to perform well.