Micro-Tasking Audio Transcriptions
I wanted to spend this week’s post discussing something important in what we’re doing – the concept of micro tasking. I have been talking about micro tasking with our customers and investors over the past few months, and I want to share with you what I have learned.
What is Micro-Tasking?
Micro-tasking is the process of splitting a large work into smaller tasks that are no longer distributed, online, to more people. Equipment and algorithms work best for certain tasks, such as identifying patterns in a picture or doing advanced math, but some tasks, including identifying image content or seeing blurry text, are still being done much better by humans.
Micro-tasking platforms provide a way for anyone sitting at their computer to contribute to important tasks – they may be involved in monitoring forest changes, or in spotting an image that might indicate an attack somewhere. In an organization, micro-tasking brings benefits such as spreading the load, but it also requires a lot of thought and strategic planning. The content of this website is based on a series of conversations with people who have worked on micro-tasking platforms, and describes the work that goes into using a successful micro-tasking platform.
In essence, micro tasking is about dividing large amounts of work into smaller segments that can be used by different people. Why is this important, especially in the field of audio translation? There are two main reasons – increased processing speed, and improved performance. Let’s cover each one at a time.
Increased processing speed
Think of a task that takes a few hours to complete. It could be reading a case study, completing a research piece, writing a long text or, for us, writing a complex piece of sound into a text. Instead of spending two hours with one person working on every project, you can split it into two blocks with a task that costs each hour, and two different people can complete each block. This is just half the time it takes us to finish a job!
Now let’s move on, and instead of two 1-hour block blocks, let’s divide the two hours of work into 1 minute pieces. This is something that can now be delivered to 120 people, and the total time required to do the work drops to just one minute. Yes the perfect effort required is still the same, but with the hardest work, this is a game changer. The ability to simulate the processing of micro tasks is key to bringing about rapid transformation of complex functions.
On the other hand, let us imagine a situation where many employees are not available, and one person has to complete a task on his own. Examples of conditions of use are the same, and here again we focus on the work of writing, perhaps in the context of secretarial. There are many times when the sound is not sensitive to time, but the scribe who has the recording has many other small tasks on the plate for all of them that need their attention. Here the second benefit of micro tasking begins to work – the development of the ability to perform multiple tasks. Instead of devoting two hours of time to one uninterrupted block, the writer is able to complete a series of small tasks during available time, and stop and return to work at any time. This is an obvious improvement in time management, and it helps people to prioritize their work while doing small useful tasks when they are a little busy.
Micro-Tasking at offshoring
In the context of writing, both points are very important. There are times when real-time conversions are needed for writers, and there are times when the work has a long lead and can wait. Being able to support both of these uses, in a safe, secure and measurable way, has been an emphasis o since we started the company. By making a bit of noise into small biting parts, we both support the workflow of writers who want to make money in their spare time, and the requirements from our clients for quality writing that has time to change very quickly. All of this is made possible by doing our little work, and the writing space is one of the places where this greatly changes the space. What other areas can you think of where micro-tasking can be a game changer.