Soylent is people! Word processor plugin crowdsources your editing

Via Bruce Sterling; not sure how workable an idea this is in practice, but it’s a real Zeitgeisty proof-of-concept. Soylent is a plugin for Micro$oft Word that farms out fact-checking, editing, rewriting and proofreading for pennies on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service:

Add this to the metaverse-outsourcing of translation tasks, and there’s a whole lot of people in the text-content industries getting mad angsty about their job security (myself included). Guess we finally get to experience how factory workers are feeling about the future…

(Kinda surprised they went for Word rather than OpenOffice… although perhaps that was a prescient move.)

4 thoughts on “Soylent is people! Word processor plugin crowdsources your editing”

  1. While I certainly understand the apprehension people in the business might have about their job security, I can’t help it but feel that there’s something going on in the larger picture. In the past decade we’ve seen so many goods and services become attainable for free through the internet (from torrent downloading, newspapers, information, etc.), that I wonder how and when we’ll start seeing that bleed into commodities and more mundane areas. It seems that it’s possible we’re seeing a new mode of production come about where commodities and labor are exchanged differently than they have been under Capitalism. Maybe it’ll be something like “The Guy Who Worked for Money” by Benjamin Rosenbaum that you posted months back.

  2. Soylent GREEN is people is the actual quote. Probably no way to do this in OpenOffice. And honestly, you get what you pay for. Thats something people are still coming to terms with. If you outsource something and it costs a tenth as much, how much quality do you really expect? You may get lucky occasionally, but you may not.

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