Jennifer Wortman Vaughan


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Tutorial: Making Better Use of the Crowd
Jennifer Wortman Vaughan
Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Tutorial Abstracts

Over the last decade, crowdsourcing has been used to harness the power of human computation to solve tasks that are notoriously difficult to solve with computers alone, such as determining whether or not an image contains a tree, rating the relevance of a website, or verifying the phone number of a business. The natural language processing community was early to embrace crowdsourcing as a tool for quickly and inexpensively obtaining annotated data to train NLP systems. Once this data is collected, it can be handed off to algorithms that learn to perform basic NLP tasks such as translation or parsing. Usually this handoff is where interaction with the crowd ends. The crowd provides the data, but the ultimate goal is to eventually take humans out of the loop. Are there better ways to make use of the crowd?In this tutorial, I will begin with a showcase of innovative uses of crowdsourcing that go beyond data collection and annotation. I will discuss applications to natural language processing and machine learning, hybrid intelligence or “human in the loop” AI systems that leverage the complementary strengths of humans and machines in order to achieve more than either could achieve alone, and large scale studies of human behavior online. I will then spend the majority of the tutorial diving into recent research aimed at understanding who crowdworkers are, how they behave, and what this should teach us about best practices for interacting with the crowd.