CSAIL Papers Honored at ACM Conference

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CSAIL was awarded top honors at the ACM User Interface Software and Technology (UIST) conference this October in the form of best paper awards for two works created by CSAIL members.

CSAIL PhD student Michael Bernstein was awarded the best student paper award for his work "Soylent: A Word Processor with a Crowd Inside." Soylent is a Microsoft Word application that recruits individuals from Amazon Mechanical Turk to help with tasks such as shortening, proofreading and editing. Bernstein teamed up with CSAIL co-authors Greg Little, Katrina Panovich, David Crowell, David Kager and Rob Miller.

The award for best paper was presented to CSAIL co-authors Greg Little, Aubrey Tatarowicz, and Rob Miller, along with lead author Jeffrey Bigham of the University of Rochester, for "VizWiz: Nearly Real-Time Answers to Visual Questions." The paper describes VizWiz, a talking application for mobile phones, which was the result of the collaboration between researchers at five different schools looking to assist blind people. The solution was a system where blind people could ask questions of sighted individuals with answers being relayed almost immediately.

Concepts for both Soylent and VizWiz stemmed from "TurKit: Human Computation Algorithms on Mechanical Turk" by CSAIL PhD student Greg Little, along with Lydia Chilton, Max Goldman, and Rob Miller.