Crowdsourcing has been used to tackle some particularly prickly problems over the last few years. A group of researchers from New York University and Google have built a new gamified system to attempt to improve the way we curate knowledge.
The system, known as Quizz, is described in a new paper published by the team recently. The aim of Quizz is to assess the knowledge of users whilst at the same time acquiring knowledge from them. The system is a relatively straightforward one. It asks participants to complete a short puzzle on a particular topic. As the user works their way through the quiz, their competence is assessed by Quizz.
An interesting aspect of the system is that some of the questions asked of users we don’t actually have a known answer for. The answers given by users identified as competent therefore act as a signal that they hope will help direct them towards a solution.
With the app being developed in partnership with Google, it’s perhaps not surprising that a sizeable chunk of the research paper focuses on the recruitment of users to the application, with Adwords style ads the primary mechanism used. Particular attention was given to this part of the process, as none of the participants would be paid for their time.
Research has identified previously that many participants in citizen science style crowdsourcing have taken part due to an inherent passion for the topic. It was all very intrinsic. The Quizz project came to similar conclusions, with a gamified approach taken to encouraging continued participation.
The researchers also believe that the money saved on financial rewards for participation can be spent on highly targeted adverts to attract the right kind of people. Surprisingly. It must be said however, that the paper does draw attention to the Google Ad Grants for Non-Profits scheme, whereby charities can be awarded up to $10,000 per month in free Adwords for things such as citizen science projects.Original post