Crowdsourcing A Meeting of Minds: Designing the Future of Work

Tuesday, June 2, 2016, 12:30-2pm, 2 Metrotech Center, 9th Fl, Brooklyn 11201

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Crowdsourcing is an increasingly powerful method where computation guides many amateurs’ efforts in order to recreate an expert’s abilities. However, across domains from design to engineering to art, few goals are truly the effort of just one person — even one expert. If we can now crowdsource simple tasks such as image labeling, how might computation coordinate many peoples’ abilities toward far more complex and interdependent goals? In this talk, we present computational systems for gathering and guiding crowds of experts, including professional programmers, designers, singers and artists. The resulting collectives tackle problems modularly and at scale, dynamically grow and shrink depending on task demands, and combine into larger organizations. We’ll demonstrate how computationally-enabled expert crowds can pursue goals such as designing new user experiences overnight, producing animated shorts in two days, and even pursuing novel research.


Michael Bernstein is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, where he is a member of the Human-Computer Interaction group. His research focuses on the design of crowdsourcing and social computing systems. This work has received five Best Paper awards and eleven honorable mentions at premier venues in human-computer interaction and social computing. Michael has been recognized as a Robert N. Noyce Family Faculty Scholar, and awarded the Sloan Fellowship, NSF CAREER award and the George M. Sprowls Award. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University, and a master’s and Ph.D. in Computer Science from MIT.

Melissa Valentine is an Assistant Professor at Stanford University in the Management Science and Engineering Department, and a core faculty member of the Center for Work, Technology, and Organization. She studies the changing nature of groups and teams in organizations, with a focus on team learning and design. She has conducted multi-method field research in a variety of organizational settings; current projects include team coordination in emergency medical care, synchronized group learning in cancer care, and complex group coordination in online labor markets.  Prof. Valentine has won awards for research and teaching. She won the Outstanding Paper with Practical Implications award from the Organizational Behavior division of the Academy of Management, and the Organization Science/INFORMS dissertation proposal competition. She received her PhD from Harvard University.