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What are Micro Tasks and Micro Tasks Management Platforms?

August 31, 2022

What are Microtasks?

A microtask is a small job that may not require many skills. A microtask normally requires just a low level of skill and takes less time to complete. Microwork is any microtask that has been outsourced to a decentralized, online workforce. Just as the name suggests, the remuneration for completing microtask is also very minimal. With microwork/ microtask, interested companies that require assistance in one way or the other put online tasks on a website and offer compensation for the individual that works and completes the task. Microwork can often be found on specific sites such as Amazon's Mechanical Turk (MTurk), that specialize in connecting remote workers with businesses that have need of short-term freelance workers.

Again, Micro tasking involves the process of dividing large tasks into smaller bits. These tasks are then distributed to interested people on the internet who work remotely and deliver the task after it is completed.  Some of these microtasks include annotations, polygon annotations, identifying the contents of an image or recognizing abstract text.

What are Microtasks Management Platforms?

Microtask management platforms are platforms that handle projects and reduce them to a series of small, manageable, and well-defined tasks that are distributed to remote workers globally.

Generally, microtask platforms are used for small, well-defined, monotonous tasks that usually do not require so many skills. Micro tasking platforms provide a way for anyone sitting at their computer to contribute to these tasks.

What are the Benefits of Microwork?

1. Ensures a more egalitarian labor market.

Advocates of microwork highlight that; microwork makes the labor market more egalitarian. Such advocates believe that with the invention of microwork, all kinds of people, regardless of their race, gender, socio-economic status, or religious background are all equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.

2. Easy distribution of tasks/ workload

Due to micro work, the workload can evenly be shared amongst people who may need extra income the most. Hence, the workload does not become the burden of only a few persons, rather, it can be shared evenly amongst several people. It gives those who may not have sufficient income access to income so that they can cater for themselves and their families.

3. Gives people the opportunity to earn money for completing a task such as transcribing a video.

4. Easy access to money to support themselves and their family.

Microwork helps remote workers to earn money for their families and attempt to provide them with food but also pay for an education. With the invention of microwork, things have truly changed.

gives people the opportunity to earn money for completing a task such as transcribing a video. People can earn money for their families and attempt to provide them with food but also pay for an education.

 5. Allows workers to work remotely from any part of the world.

Some pros of micro workers include the ability to work from home and the ability to earn extra money besides regular jobs. The ability to be able to work from home normally is of great relevance to women.

6. For employers, microtasking services provide a platform to quickly get a project online and start receiving results concurrently from many workers.

Criticisms of Microwork

1. Language Barrier

It has been argued that many microwork job sites are only in English. So, whoever is unable to communicate and understand the English Language is automatically disqualified from this kind of work. In this situation, language becomes a barrier to performing most micro tasks.

2. Different pay scales

Another major con of micro tasks is the differentials in the pay scales. Micro workers in the job site's home country are likely to be paid more than international micro workers and this fair wage must be equal for similar tasks. This often makes international micro workers often feel underappreciated and underpaid.

 3. Different payment systems

Many micro workers in developing countries may or may not have bank accounts. With those that have the bank accounts, the bank tariffs or electronic levy on international deposits is normally on the high side and this takes away a chunk of their money earned.

Examples of Microtask jobs

1. Tagging Photos from social media

2. Digitizing Receipts & Invoices

3. Typing out business card information from a photo

4. Labeling photos

5. Crowdsourcing

6. Describing products

7. Transcribing scanned documents

Uses of Microtasks

1. Involves processing online data. E.g., Driving traffic to websites, labeling, or tagging data

 2. They are also used to accurately translate or transcribe audio clips and pictures, since these are activities that are better suited to humans than computers. These are used both for practical data conversion purposes, but also to improve upon and test the fidelity of machine learning algorithms.

3. They are also used to accurately translate or transcribe audio clips and pictures, since these are activities that are better suited to humans than computers. These are used both for practical data conversion purposes, but also to improve upon and test the fidelity of machine learning algorithms.

4. Identification of pictures by humans has been used to help in missing persons searches, though to little effect

5. It is a good platform for reaching a large population for social studies and surveys since they make it easy to offer monetary incentives.

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