CrowdControl Uses AI, Crowdsourcing to Analyze Big Data

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  January 01, 2012
This article originally appeared in the Jan. 2012 issue of Customer Interaction Solutions

A new company called CrowdControl is leveraging crowdsourcing and artificial intelligence to make sense of big data. Its solutions are used in everything from human sentiment analysis applications to keeping business listings up to date.

CEO Max Yankelevich notes that there are hundreds of millions of tweets out there that talk about brands, but it’s impossible to do analyze all that data using most of the existing tools and dedicated employees, because that model just doesn’t scale affordably. On the other hand, you don’t want to remove the human element completely from the mix. So CrowdControl taps the resources of more than 1 million people around the world who access the Amazon Mechanical Turk platform during breaks from their day jobs or other responsibilities and gives those individuals small computerized tasks that – when combined – help make sense of large loads of data.

CrowdControl did an initial formal product launch in November and was established as a company a year ago this month (January). But the company’s concept came together a couple years ago as part of AI and crowdsourcing projects at MIT (News - Alert). The crowdsourcing part of the equation is described above; the CrowdControl solution brings AI into play to understand human behavior so high-quality work can be rewarded and used, and poor quality work and workers can be ejected, explains Yankelevich.

“Some folks say it’s like Matrix, where AI is controlling humans,” Yankelevich says.

“Gone are the days of Wild West crowdsourcing,” he continues. “We’re introducing manageability to the equation – and this ability to control large data sets will power businesses that aren’t yet imagined. Companies build their businesses around pennies, and we can give them that precision in high-quality data sets, cheaper and quicker than alternatives on the market today.”

CrowdControl sells this solution as a SaaS (News - Alert)-based offer. Customers log into a CrowdControl portal to upload and download their data.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi