Jeff Bigham- Crowd Agents: Interactive Crowd-Powered Systems in the Real World

Over the past few years, I have been developing and deploying interactive crowd-powered systems. For instance, VizWiz has the crowd answer visual questions for blind people in less than a minute, Legion allows outsourcing of desktop tasks to the crowd, and Scribe allows the crowd to caption audio in real-time. Overall, thousands of people have engaged with these systems, providing an interesting look at how end users interact with crowd work in their everyday lives. Collectively, these systems illustrate a new approach to human computation in which the diverse and changing crowd is provided the computational support necessary to act as a single, high-quality actor. The classic advantage of the crowd has been its wisdom, but our systems are beginning to show how crowd agents can surpass even expert individuals on difficult real-time motor and cognitive performance tasks.