MTurk Informs Wearmail

This is kind of interesting: a new technology that lets you search your email by asking your watch to find something.

Yep.

You ask your watch and it triggers a ‘special search’ that finds exactly what you’re looking for–like your flight confirmation number. Turkers were used thusly:

“In the first survey, we asked both workers on Amazon Mechanical Turk and workshop attendees to provide keyword search terms for three questions:

  1. “What is my Delta flight confirmation for today?”
  2. “I want to find my ACM Membership Number in my email.”
  3. “What room was I supposed to meet Dan Weld in today?”

 

And:

“We also asked survey participants to provide information that could be useful for constructing regular expression queries, both in terms of minimum and maximum range values and in terms of whether the target terms contained numbers, letters, or a combination of both. The results were largely inconsistent, but a preliminary interface for this approach is shown in the figure below. As a result, we hypothesized that a more promising approach may be to ask workers to find examples of the target terms on the internet, and to generalize from those.”

If you have an Android phone and use gmail, you can probably try this out. Me, I’ll just search my email.

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