AI Requires a Human Touch_Appen Crowdsourcing_Crowd Sourced Data

AI Requires a Human Touch: How Appen Recruits Crowds to Improve Technology

Kerri Reynolds knows a thing or two about hiring. As Appen’s new Senior Vice President of Human Resources (HR) and Crowdsourcing, she’s been a professional talent acquisition recruiter for 20 years for Fortune 500 companies including Citibank, MasterCard and Microsoft.

Joining Appen in March of this year, Kerri has jumped right into the challenges of recruiting the crowds we rely on to provide solutions to clients in web search evaluation, social media evaluation and linguistics. Asked about her decision to take on this new role, she said, “Appen is on such a tremendous growth path. I wanted to be a part of that.”

Kerri is continuing the great work our recruiting team has been doing for years, as FlexJobs recently named Appen as the number one provider of remote jobs in its annual list of the 100 Top Companies to Watch for Telecommuting and RemoteJobs. As the winner for four years running, we’re proud of the high-quality, flexible work opportunities we continue provide to people all over the world.

Crowdsourcing: What Is It?

The HR side of Kerri’s role is fairly traditional. Crowdsourcing is anything but. You may be familiar with the term from fundraising with sites like GoFundMe and Kickstarter, for idea contests, or web-based projects like Wikipedia. Appen uses crowds to perform big projects in short periods of time. Part of Kerri’s job is overseeing the recruitment of those crowds. “We’ll have a client who needs 500 people to work on project X,” she explains. “My role is to coordinate the recruiting team so we can quickly identify the right people for that project, who may be anywhere in the world, and get them onboard and available for work quickly.”

For Kerri, building the crowds is both the biggest challenge and the most rewarding part of the job. “It’s exciting to find 1,000 people around the globe who want to work 20 hours a week in their local language to make the web better. It takes a compelling value proposition for workers and good organization within our team. Ultimately, it helps our clients build better products.”

About Appen Crowdsourcing

Appen uses crowds for a number of different types of work, including web search evaluation, social media evaluation and linguistic resources.

Web search evaluators and social media evaluators look at data that’s going to live on the web and rate it for relevance. Workers in these roles help our clients create better search experiences, so that when people use a search engine to find something in particular, they get the best results. “For example,” says Kerri, “say you’re looking for local news. You type that query into a search engine and you get articles in order of most to least relevant. The search engine returns what you’re looking for because someone rated data that improved the relevance of the search. It might have been done by an Appen crowd worker.”

For these positions, Kerri and her team are always on the lookout for highly detailed individuals: people who can look at an image or read something, quickly deduce what’s going on, and annotate it. The right candidates must also be technically comfortable with social media and other platforms.

What is Crowd Sourced Data?

You’ve just learned how Appen managed search and social media evaluators annotate and evaluate data, rating it for relevance, the data they produce is a great example of crowd sourced