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TurkScanner: Predicting the Hourly Wage of Microtasks

by   Susumu Saito, et al.
West Virginia University
Carnegie Mellon University

Workers in crowd markets struggle to earn a living. One reason for this is that it is difficult for workers to accurately gauge the hourly wages of microtasks, and they consequently end up performing labor with little pay. In general, workers are provided with little information about tasks, and are left to rely on noisy signals, such as textual description of the task or rating of the requester. This study explores various computational methods for predicting the working times (and thus hourly wages) required for tasks based on data collected from other workers completing crowd work. We provide the following contributions. (i) A data collection method for gathering real-world training data on crowd-work tasks and the times required for workers to complete them; (ii) TurkScanner: a machine learning approach that predicts the necessary working time to complete a task (and can thus implicitly provide the expected hourly wage). We collected 9,155 data records using a web browser extension installed by 84 Amazon Mechanical Turk workers, and explored the challenge of accurately recording working times both automatically and by asking workers. TurkScanner was created using 150 derived features, and was able to predict the hourly wages of 69.6 Directions for future research include observing the effects of tools on people's working practices, adapting this approach to a requester tool for better price setting, and predicting other elements of work (e.g., the acceptance likelihood and worker task preferences.)


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