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Crowdsourcing    Lessons from Henry Ford    Lessons from Henry Ford              Panos Ipeirotis            New York Unive...
Crowdsourcing: First Steps• Maskelyne, 1760:   – Used large number of human computers.             g                      ...
Crowdsourcing: First Steps• Maskelyne, 1760:    – Used large number of human computers.              g                    ...
The Industrial RevolutionMeanwhile…•   Textile manufacture•   Mining•   Steam power    Steam power•   Chemicals•   …
The Industrial Revolution         Productivity rises!         Productivity rises!     Who is the beneficiary?     Wh i th ...
"The Communist Manifesto",                  by Marx and Engels, 1848                 by Marx and Engels 1848     A class o...
"The Communist Manifesto",                  by Marx and Engels, 1848                 by Marx and Engels 1848     A class o...
The assembly line and mass production  Mass production was popularized in   the 1910s and 1920s by Henry Ford,   who intro...
The $5 workday• Before Ford: any departments hiring 300   men per year to fill 100 slots.  men per year to fill 100 slots•...
Fast forward to 2011…               Fast forward to 2011…• Cost benefits: “It is cheap, and I help these poor guys”   Cost...
Crowdsourcing Today           Crowdsourcing Today• We are still in the 19th century!  We are still in the 19• We repeat al...
CrowdSearching• It is not about the cost!   t s ot about t e cost!• It is not about the crowd!  It is not about the crowd!...
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Crowdsourcing: Lessons from Henry Ford

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Slides from WWW2011 panel: "The Computer is the new Sewing Machine: Benefits and Perils of Crowdsourcing"

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Crowdsourcing: Lessons from Henry Ford

  1. 1. Crowdsourcing Lessons from Henry Ford Lessons from Henry Ford Panos Ipeirotis New York University “A Computer Scientist in a Business School”http://behind‐the‐enemy‐lines.blogspot.com/
  2. 2. Crowdsourcing: First Steps• Maskelyne, 1760: – Used large number of human computers. g p – Created almanac with moon positions,  used for ship navigation – Quality assurance by doing calculations  twice and compared by third verifier. d db h d f• De Prony, 1794:  y, – Hires hairdressers (unemployed after  French revolution) who knew only addition  and subtraction)  – Galton, biology, 1893 – Create logarithmic and trigonometric  – Pearson, biology, 1899 tables. – … – He managed the process by splitting the  – Cowles, stock market, 1929 work into very detailed workflows. work into very detailed workflows – Hairdressers better than mathematicians in arithmetic! – Math Tables Project,  unskilled labor, 1938
  3. 3. Crowdsourcing: First Steps• Maskelyne, 1760: – Used large number of human computers. g p (Little has changed since then…) (Little has changed since then ) – Created almanac with moon positions,  used for ship navigation – Quality assurance by doing calculations  twice and compared by third verifier. d db h d f Patterns De Prony, 1794:  y,• Division of labor  Division of labor – Hires hairdressers (unemployed after  French revolution) who knew only addition  Mass production Galton, biology, 1893 and subtraction)  – – Create logarithmic and trigonometric  – Pearson, biology, 1899 tables. – … – He managed the process by splitting the  Cowles, stock market, 1929 Remind you of something? Remind you of something? work into very detailed workflows. work into very detailed workflows – Hairdressers better than mathematicians in arithmetic! – – Math Tables Project,  unskilled labor, 1938
  4. 4. The Industrial RevolutionMeanwhile…• Textile manufacture• Mining• Steam power Steam power• Chemicals• …
  5. 5. The Industrial Revolution Productivity rises! Productivity rises! Who is the beneficiary? Wh i th b fi i ?(hint: child labor, tenements, cholera, chest  diseases, hunger, malnutrition…)
  6. 6. "The Communist Manifesto",  by Marx and Engels, 1848 by Marx and Engels 1848 A class of laborers, who live only so long as they find work, and who find  work only so long as their labor increases capital.… These laborers, who must sell themselves piecemeal, are a commodity,  Th l b h t ll th l i l dit like every other article of commerce, and are consequently exposed to all  the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations of the market.…. Owing to the extensive use of machinery, and to the division of labor, the  work of the proletarians has lost all individual character, and,  consequently, all charm for the workman.… He becomes an appendage of the machine, and it is only the most simple,  most monotonous, and most easily acquired knack, that is required of  him. him
  7. 7. "The Communist Manifesto",  by Marx and Engels, 1848 by Marx and Engels 1848 A class of laborers, who live only so long as they find work, and who find  work only so long as their labor increases capital.… These laborers, who must sell themselves piecemeal, are a commodity,  Th l b h t ll th l i l dit like every other article of commerce, and are consequently exposed to all  the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations of the market.…. Owing to the extensive use of machinery, and to the division of labor, the  work of the proletarians has lost all individual character, and,  consequently, all charm for the workman.… He becomes an appendage of the machine, and it is only the most simple,  most monotonous, and most easily acquired knack, that is required of  him. him Remind you of something?
  8. 8. The assembly line and mass production Mass production was popularized in  the 1910s and 1920s by Henry Ford,  who introduced electric motors to  the then‐well‐known technique of  chain or sequential production.Standard of living started increasing after introduction of mass production
  9. 9. The $5 workday• Before Ford: any departments hiring 300  men per year to fill 100 slots. men per year to fill 100 slots• Ford in 1914 offered a $5/day wage ($110 Ford in 1914 offered a $5/day wage ($110  in 2008 dollars, doubling running wage)• Best mechanics in Detroit flocked to Ford: – Brought expertise –R i d Raised productivity d ti it – Lowered training costs• Efficiency meant hiring and keeping the  best workers
  10. 10. Fast forward to 2011… Fast forward to 2011…• Cost benefits: “It is cheap, and I help these poor guys”  Cost benefits: It is cheap, and I help these poor guys [said the robber baron of the 19th century, together with the modern MTurk requester]• Speed and parallelism: “I got 1000 workers to work on  this task [out of which, 1% workers did 99% of the work, the rest left,  this task” [ t f hi h 1% k did 99% f th k th t l ft generating turnover of 3000%]• Breaking down to simple tasks: “Now we give tiny,  meaningless tasks to people” [who get bored to death]
  11. 11. Crowdsourcing Today Crowdsourcing Today• We are still in the 19th century! We are still in the 19• We repeat all the mistakes! ll h i k !• We need a Henry Ford!
  12. 12. CrowdSearching• It is not about the cost! t s ot about t e cost!• It is not about the crowd! It is not about the crowd!• It is not about simple tasks! It is not about simple tasks!• Crowdsourcing best for “parallel secretary problem”: Crowdsourcing best for  parallel secretary problem :  Find the best trained workers, fast, pay them well,  and keep them!

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