Showing posts from January, 2012

Follow-Up to World of Workcraft

Here is the accompanying report we had to go along with our scenario of World of Workcraft. This report outlines some of the technical and research challenges. As before, credit should be shared with Rick Wash and Michael Bernstein. Blame should go to me.
Introduction We envision a future comprised of a highly flexible workforce, where people with appropriate skill sets can be quickly and easily brought together on demand into flash teams to complete projects of varying sizes, difficulties, and time scales. These projects will also function as apprenticeships for people, helping workers to continually learn useful skills that will enable them to actively participate and adapt to changes in the dynamic knowledge economies of the twenty-first century.
We are starting to see early glimpses of this kind of future work force. For example, many graphic designers and programmers are hired on a consulting basis, working with short-term project teams that are dissolved once the project is complet…

The Future of Work, or The World of Workcraft

A while back in 2010, I attended a CCC/CRA workshop in Ultra-Large-Scale Interaction. The goal of the workshop was to set out a broad research agenda for having thousands of people collaborate together on hard problems. A lot of the discussion focused on crowdsourcing, and how to apply crowdsourcing techniques to enable new kinds of work in the future.
Below is a scenario that Rick Wash, Michael Bernstein, and I put together for our vision of how crowdsourcing techniques for skilled workers might pan out in the future. We jokingly called it the World of Workcraft, since we drew some of our ideas from that popular game.
For example, in WoW, the game records your skill level as well as achievements demonstrating that you have some level of mastery. The game also has ways to facilitate assembling people based on their skills (e.g. tank, damage, healer), having these people operate in short-term groups to achieve specific objectives. We felt that some of these same ideas might be applicabl…