What is microwork?

Do you really know?

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What is microwork?

Do you really know?

What is microwork? Thanks for asking!

Microwork is paid work which usually involves short and repetitive tasks carried out on a smartphone or computer. It could be identifying objects shown in an image, watching videos, labelling data, translating short sentences or recording one’s voice for example. Charging electric scooters or taking photos of products for an app could also be considered microwork.

That sounds simple enough; what is life like as a microworker then? 

Generally speaking, each task is paid at a rate of a few cents so microwork is rather unstable. On the other hand, this kind of work is available to all as it doesn’t require specific qualifications. Another benefit is flexibility, with microworkers able to work when and where they want, as long as tasks aren’t time-sensitive. It’s as simple as registering on a platform which acts as the middle man between workers and companies. Amazon Mechanical Turk is an example of one such platform. Many companies use microwork to develop technology like artificial intelligence. To educate machines, we have to talk to them. For example, Alexa and Siri learn to understand our voices thanks to microworkers who record themselves saying all kinds of phrases, each with their own accent and sound environment of course.

And driverless cars are able to recognise trees and pedestrians thanks to humans identifying them on millions of photos. This form of work is relatively recent, having emerged in the United States in the 2000s. Back in 2011, it was estimated that microwork contributed $375M to the world economy. However, 22% of microworkers live under the poverty line. And there are other drawbacks too, in addition to the lack of economic security. Some may be demotivated by the apparent lack of meaning in their tasks. Often, microworkers don’t know the name of the company they’re working for, or anything about the project to which they’re contributing.

So are we saying robots aren’t yet ready to replace humans in the workplace? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!

To listen the last episodes, you can click here:

What is retrospective contact tracing?

What is the Iranian nuclear program?

What is cultured meat?

A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance.

 

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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What is microwork? Thanks for asking!

Microwork is paid work which usually involves short and repetitive tasks carried out on a smartphone or computer. It could be identifying objects shown in an image, watching videos, labelling data, translating short sentences or recording one’s voice for example. Charging electric scooters or taking photos of products for an app could also be considered microwork.

That sounds simple enough; what is life like as a microworker then? 

Generally speaking, each task is paid at a rate of a few cents so microwork is rather unstable. On the other hand, this kind of work is available to all as it doesn’t require specific qualifications. Another benefit is flexibility, with microworkers able to work when and where they want, as long as tasks aren’t time-sensitive. It’s as simple as registering on a platform which acts as the middle man between workers and companies. Amazon Mechanical Turk is an example of one such platform. Many companies use microwork to develop technology like artificial intelligence. To educate machines, we have to talk to them. For example, Alexa and Siri learn to understand our voices thanks to microworkers who record themselves saying all kinds of phrases, each with their own accent and sound environment of course.

And driverless cars are able to recognise trees and pedestrians thanks to humans identifying them on millions of photos. This form of work is relatively recent, having emerged in the United States in the 2000s. Back in 2011, it was estimated that microwork contributed $375M to the world economy. However, 22% of microworkers live under the poverty line. And there are other drawbacks too, in addition to the lack of economic security. Some may be demotivated by the apparent lack of meaning in their tasks. Often, microworkers don’t know the name of the company they’re working for, or anything about the project to which they’re contributing.

So are we saying robots aren’t yet ready to replace humans in the workplace? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!

To listen the last episodes, you can click here:

What is retrospective contact tracing?

What is the Iranian nuclear program?

What is cultured meat?

A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance.

 

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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