Project Leader: Prof. Edith Law
Human Computation (a.k.a. crowdsourcing) is the idea of combining human and machine intelligence on the Web to help tackle difficult problems that algorithms cannot yet solved. Examples of crowdsourcing includes ReCaptcha which helps digitize books, commercial crowdsourcing platforms such as Amazon Mechanical Turk, and systems for solving scientific puzzles such as FoldIt and Zooniverse.
A major problem in crowdsourcing is incentives -- how can we design user interfaces and reward systems to incentivize participation, especially when people are volunteers, participating out of their own intrinsic motivation? X-with-a-Purpose systems engage participants to perform tasks as a by-product of another activity they are intrinsically motivated to do. Games with a Purpose is a prime example, where game players generate useful annotations as a by-product of playing a casual game. Research goes into making these games both fun and spammer-prove - two important but often conflicitng objectives. In this mini-research project, we will design, prototype and test a variety of incentive mechanisms for volunteer-based crowdsourcing.