Artist and programmer Lauren McCarthy is interested in the ways technology can be used to “augment, subvert, alter, mediate, and ultimately deepen social interaction.” She has developed a system using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing service that lets people watch and comment on her date.
With ‘Social Turkers,’ she has livestreamed dates using an iPhone app and asked for real-time feedback on her social interactions. Turk workers were paid to watch the stream, interpret what was happening, and offer feedback about what she should say or do next, which was communicated to McCarthy via texts.
Soon she hopes to offer an easy-to-use app for anyone to start crowdsourcing their own relationships. She told Fast Company:
I was really amazed by how much the workers were able to notice from such low quality audio and video. They picked up on the times when I was nervous, uncomfortable, bored, interested, engaged with stunning accuracy. Sometimes the feedback would tell me to relax or smile and I would read the responses afterward and they’d mention I seemed really nervous. I’d watch the footage and realize they were right.