Artist/programmer Lauren McCarthy has undertaken an interesting experiment in networked romance called Social Turkers. McCarthy sets up dates with men using OK Cupid, and uses her phone to stream a live video feed of the outings to Amazon's Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing platform. The turkers observe the interaction and text realtime suggestions on what McCarthy should do in order to have an optimal date.
She's documented each date, and published the log of the turkers' commentary.
During a series of dates with new people I meet through the Internet, I will discretely stream the interaction to the web using an Iphone app. Turk workers will be paid to watch the stream, interpret what is happening, and offer feedback as to what I should do or say next. This feedback will be communicated to me via text message.
Through this series of interaction experiments, I will refine the rules of the system — the type of feedback and rating the turkers provide, and the amount and frequency of their influence. I will also keep public logs of the responses of the turkers and my own reflections on what transpires during each interaction.
Coming soon: easy to use app for anyone to start crowdsourcing their own relationships! Stay tuned.
Social Turkers: Crowdsourced Dating
There are three more stops on my tour for Walkaway: tomorrow at San Diego Comic-Con, next weekend at Defcon 25 in Las Vegas, and August 10th at the Burbank Public Library.
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