Employing Humans To Get Real-Time Answers

from the but-does-it-scale... dept

I’ve always been a big fan of technology businesses that actually use humans to fill in the gaps where technology fails. However, as someone who runs a company that fits under that umbrella, the big question everyone asks is “how well does it scale?” I’m sure that’s the same question that the folks that the folks running Any Questions Answered – a new service in the UK that lets anyone using a mobile phone send in a text message question – which will be quickly (one hopes) answered by a human at the other end (for a pound each). Of course, the trick to scaling is to have technology help those humans do what they do more efficiently. Thus, AQA’s answerers apparently have some software (Google?) that helps them quickly answer standard questions. The company also is looking to employ random people at home to help answer the questions – which raises the inevitable (second) question of quality. Of course, in many ways this is similar to Google Answers – with the big difference being that you only pay if you get the correct answer with Google. Though, it’s also not done via a mobile phone and not nearly as quick.

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