By Brian Reavey
Today is Halloween - a day filled with candy, costume contests, adorable tricker or treaters and one too many cats dressed up as a pumpkin. It's also a day on which many of us build up the courage to finally confront some of our deepest and darkest fears -- ghosts and ghouls, spiders and snakes, sexy nurses and chipendales dancers. The lead into Halloween is often a time when we all seek out and for some perverse reason relish the feeling of being scared. We watch horror movies that plague our dreams. We go to haunted houses to make our nightmares tangible. We even decorate our homes with the very things that comprise our phobias.
Hot springs are awesome. The idea of soaking in toasty, nutrient-rich water sounds good just about anytime. And with winter coming, it's prime time for a pilgrimage to one of nature's spas. But the online resources available leave a lot to be desired. That's why I decided to organize all of America's hot spring data under one roof.
One of the best things about interning at CrowdFlower is that you get the opportunity to learn about human intelligence from the world’s most diverse workforce. In my previous blog post, I showed how we can predict task performance using task difficulty. This time, I would like to focus on our contributors, the most valuable resource in data enrichment and crowdsourcing, and pose the question: How well will a contributor do on a new task?
Watching Super Bowl commercials is a celebrated American tradition. With more than a hundred million viewers tuned in, the pressure to stand out on Super Bowl Sunday is sky high. That's why many companies try to make their spots just-controversial-enough. But not going overboard is easier said than done. This tone deafness was on full display in 2011 when Groupon’s Super Bowl ad diminished the suffering of people in Tibet. The reactions from viewers were loud and clear: Groupon took it too far. Now, data scientists are finding ways to avoid this super costly faux pas.