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Fed agency using Crowdflower & Amazon Mechanical Turk?

Does anybody know of any examples of a federal agency using Amazon Mechanical Turk or Crowdflower?

Tags: communications, crowd, crowdsource, project management, tech

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Hi Justin,

I haven't heard of anyone using those specific services, but the State Dept's Virtual Student Foreign Service was moving in the direction of building a cloud of student interns who could work on projects for embassies/missions around the world, like an in-house crowd-sourcing service. I wrote a short case in a larger report last year. You can find it on page 19 here.

Reach out to Crowdflower - I'd heard they had done some translation work during a couple crisis (I think Haiti) for either gov't agencies or quasi-government groups

I think while can make sense to do, obviously there's a little sensitive of it for gov't agencies based on people outside the U.S. doing the work (which I think you can control) and the wages (it's almost too cheap/too good of a deal).  But I think it's an awesome way to go for certain tasks

This is a good question, Justin.  I've been wondering lately ways that federal agencies could use a service like Crowdflower, Mechanical Turk and Microtask.

Hi Justin;

We have a couple good examples of Federal Agencies using and evaluating Mechanical Turk. Currently Army Research Labs used us to annotate short video clips for a DARPA project, DARPA is using us to adjust machine translation technology to recognize spoken language better. Finally, US Copyright Office is investigating digitizing and annotating its card catalog to bring those resources online.

ARL used us directly, DARPA Language project is through Raytheon, and US Copyright is investigating several of our Partners for solutions.



I'm Ari from CrowdFlower – a few examples for you:

  • NIH: identification and verification of drug and disease names in blocks of text, in order to complement their algorithmic NLP efforts
  • The US Copyright Office in transcribing registration cards, so they can be digitized and made public
  • Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC): transcription, tagging and classification of documents (see more here:

Let me know if you'd like to learn more!



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