AI Company CrowdFlower Raises $20M for Crowdsourcing


AI Company CrowdFlower Raises $20M for Crowdsourcing

By Michael Contreras

Buzzwords such as 'Artificial Intelligence' and 'Crowdsourcing,' once predominantly used by the Tech Industry, are now becoming commonplace. As artificial intelligence increasingly enters our homes, CrowdFlower is aiming to accelerate the development of these technologies and the rate in which society adopts them by tapping into the crowd. Last week, the company landed a $20 Million round of funding to  continue and expand its operations. How? By further investing in crowdsourcing.  

Machine learning and artificial intelligence are often viewed as technologies that stray away from and/or undermine the abilities and knowledge of human beings. However CrowdFlower values human input as integral for enabling and improving artificial intelligence. In particular, this company relies on crowdsourcing to train its machine learning algorithms to complete more rigorous data science work. By crowdsourcing data and training activities, CrowdFlower can better scale the volume and rate at which its machines can ‘learn’ and thus perform a broader and more challenging range of tasks.

The labor CrowdFlower is crowdsourcing involves assigning simple tasks to its workers, including transcribing text seen in an image; matching sentiments and feelings associated with certain sentences, statements, and/or forum posts; explaining and commenting on images; and other simple tasks humans can complete with little inaccuracy. For example, a statement that can be read in various sentiments is distributed to thousands of individuals for feedback. The data from these answers are collected, analyzed, and fed into its algorithms for its machines to digest. As a result, its machines can identify and apply the right sentiment to similarly-written statements.  

Including this most recent round, CrowdFlower has now secured $58 Million in funding, which it hopes to use to expand its platform into other AI technologies. As this company continues to thrive, it will increasingly need to rely on crowdsourcing human intelligence to advance its artificial intelligence. Based on its success, expect more companies to adopt similar crowdsourcing models.