If a machine can do it, then there is no need for a human, The Industrial Revolution ( microworkers ) taught us that. However, there are still thousands of little tasks that machines cannot achieve and require a human touch.
Think about a single moment in your digital life. Remember when you clicked on something and discovered a list of music playlists recommended just for you? See when the internet suggests some cool restaurants in your local area – all of this would not be feasible without the help of Microworkers.
Microworkers provide data. Algorithms that machines learn from are provided by the input achieved from Microworkers. The tasks these workers perform can be thankless but are immeasurable in providing a better online experience for us all.
In many third world countries and poorer nations, micro-working has become a saviour. A dental surgeon from Venezuela found that too many locals were so poor they could barely afford to eat, let alone pay for dental treatment. So she turned her hand to micro working. It instantly paid off with some of the best days seeing her earn around $60.
That amount of cash can go a long way in poorer nations like Venezuela – where filling up your tank with petrol would set you back less than a dollar.
What Sort of Tasks do Microworkers Actually Do?
Many of the jobs taken up by this army of workers are data entry, drawing digital lines around a road or trees, tagging words which have emotional meaning and identifying songs that are considered happy, sad, worrying, joyful or morose. It is all done so the internet can categorise these things more accurately.
Drawing lines around a road is performed so a driverless vehicle can better navigate a road it is driving on. Identifying a melancholy song is done so that when someone asks for “heart breaking tunes” it will turn out these results identified by the Microworkers.
But do not be fooled by the intellect of the average micro worker. Many are educated and more than half are adept in some form of science and technology.
The First Use of Microworkers by Business Online
Among the earliest protagonists of the internet was Amazon. Many years ago, when it first launched, there were thousands of duplicate pages of items for sale. The computers could not notice the subtle differences that made them a duplication.
Often it might be something so simple like a photograph of a book for sale taken at a different angle, a word spelled in American-English instead of the traditional language spelling, or something so subtle it could not be picked up by machines.
This is where Amazon recruited an entire army of micro workers. No one single person could have possibly done the task, as there was millions of pages to peruse over. So, Amazon recruited several thousands of Microworkers to diligently do the task for them. The vast majority based in the US and India. They keep our internet alive and in great shape.