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Crowdsourcing Contests

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Tasks traditionally performed by specific trained individuals can nowadays be performed by a community recruited through an open call, in a process called crowdsourcing. There are several internet platforms such as Amazon Mechanical Turk that act as a market place, which allows individuals to sell their labour and companies to source out tasks. Such platforms offer a convenient solution for many tasks, such as categorizing images, transcribing audio clips, designing company logos, and writing articles on a particular topic. However, it is quite difficult to make workers exert much effort when performing a task. One possible design that can overcome this problem is a crowdsourcing contest, where participants compete for rewards given to superior solutions of a task.

I will discuss how game theory can predict behaviour in such contests, analysing tradeoffs between the expectation and variance of the principal’s utility, and discuss how these were tested empirically using a controlled experiment on Amazon Mechanical Turk.

This talk is part of the Social Psychology Seminar Series (SPSS) series.

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