Crowdsourcing in real life
Crowdsourcing is the practice of obtaining information, work or services from a large group of people. With the help of the internet, crowdsourcing has become extremely easy to do on a large scale. In this article, I explore some applications of crowdsourcing from the tech industry that are exemplary in innovation, usefulness, and scale.
Want to hunt some treasure?
Geocaching is essentially a treasure hunt on a massive global scale. People hide containers called ‘geocaches’ with lile notes and trinkets for others to discover. Locations of geocaches are marked using GPS and are available for others to find through geocaching apps. On discovering a geocache, the player usually signs their name in the log and puts the cache back where they found it. Geocaching can be an interesting way to discover places of interest near you, while sharing the experience with others.
Bro-code on the road
“Cheta, avide checking ond keto”. How many times has somebody saved you from a police trap on the road? What if you could do this on a much larger scale? Waze is a navigation app with crowdsourcing at its heart. People share information about police traps, accidents, and traic blocks with millions of other users on the road, in real-time. You can even tell people where you can get the cheapest fuel. Oh, and speed cameras? You can stop worrying about them. Waze is one of the earliest examples of crowdsourcing done right in the tech industry.
How the Mannequin Challenge was put to good use
In May 2019, Google published a paper about a neural network that could extract depth information from videos where both the camera and object are moving. This is a particularly challenging problem, as most previous depth trackers could only extract depth data from static backgrounds and objects. What’s most interesting about Google’s solution is the training data they used. In an unprecedented example of involuntary crowdsourcing, Google used footage available on the internet from 2016’s ‘Mannequin Challenge’. Videos from this challenge turned out to be the perfect data set needed to train the neural network. Google’s neural network ended up being more accurate than earlier aempts, at a much lower cost. Be My Eyes A heart-warming example of crowdsourcing for social good,‘
Be My Eyes’
is an app that helps blind or visually impaired people complete daily tasks by taking the help of thousands of sighted volunteers. Volunteers can sign up on the app for free, and get a notification when a blind person needs assistance. The person may need help for anything ranging from navigating their surroundings, to reading instructions on a medicine bole. Help is provided with the help of a live video call. Download the app and lend your eyes to a blind person! /r/place On April Fools’ Day 2017, social sharing website Reddit launched /r/place, a social experiment where the centrepiece was a collaborative online canvas. Users could place pixels of their chosen colour on the canvas, but a user could only place one pixel every 5-20 minutes. Over 1,000,000 users participated during the 72 hour period that the experiment lasted. The evolution of the canvas during this time period is super interesting to watch. The beginning