Have you ever desperately texted your friends for advice during a date? “He just complimented me on my embarrassing beauty mark, what do I say now?”
Artist and programmer Lauren McCarthy is working on a solution for us less confident daters with an app called Social Turkers.
McCarthy used her phone to broadcast her dates live.
The video stream is viewed by the task-rabbits who take part in Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, the crowdsourcing service where you can post small tasks requiring human intelligence that people around the world complete for just a few cents.
Turkers have been asked to transcribe podcasts, search satellite maps to find missing persons, or to rate the emotions expressed in Tweets—but probably never before to help someone’s date go better. For each of McCarthy’s dates, over the course of January, Turkers could earn up to $0.25 for tuning into the live video and audio stream. Throughout the date, the “social Turkers” answered polls, wrote reviews of what they are seeing, and sent text messages to her iPhone suggesting what to say or do next—advice came quick enough for McCarthy to actually put it into action.
So someday you may not have to go on that awkward date alone. And maybe, with the help of your global network of ‘Turkers,’ it won’t even be awkward.