The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Ming Yin - “Peeking into the On-Demand Economy”

DS Seminar
Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 8:00pm
Computer Science Building, Room 150/151


Ming Yin
Harvard University

Title:  “Peeking into the On-Demand Economy”

Abstract:  Today, an increasing number of digital platforms have emerged to match customers, almost in real time, with a potentially global pool of freelancers, leading to the rise of the on-demand economy. In addition to creating new dynamics of labor allocation, the on-demand economy has also led to new models of computation—it has enabled the human-in-the-loop computing—and new forms of knowledge creation—people all over the world are contributing to scientific studies in dozens of fields, either by making scientific observations as amateur scientists or by participating in online experiments as subjects.  Despite its already significant impacts, the on-demand economy has still been considered as a black-box approach to soliciting labor from a crowd of on-demand workers. Little is known about these workers and their aggregated behavior. In this talk, using the crowdsourcing Internet marketplaces as an example, Ming will present her attempts and findings on opening up this black box with a combination of experimental and computational approaches, with focuses on understanding who the on-demand workers are, how to model their unique working behavior, and how to improve their work experience.

A reception will be held at 3:40 P.M. in the atrium outside the presentation room.