Mar 10, 2009

Bridging economics through the internet

Many jobs or tasks can be done online by freelancers. Basically, the same task or job can be done by someone living in the US, Europe, India, China or any other country. The main advantage of outsourcing work to people in countries like India, China and other developing countries is clear, low cost work power.

But there are other advantages, for example certain HIT (human intelligence tasks) aren’t worth doing by people living in US or other developed countries, because these are simple tasks which may take a few minutes to complete and the payment for those is as low as a few cents . But people in India may find it worthwhile, that’s the idea behind Amazon Mechanical Turk.

I came across an interesting article explaining the economics of CAPTCHAs (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart — a program used to discern computers from humans. Usually an image containing a numerical or alphabetic code that can normally only be read and interpreted by a human)

"The economics are as follows: 300-500 CAPTCHAs per person per hour. The clients pay between $9-15 per 1000 CAPTCHAs solved. The team works around 12 hours a day per person. That means they can solve somewhere around 4800 CAPTCHAs per day per person, and depending on how hard the CAPTCHAs are that can run you around $50 per day per person (his estimate). The reason it’s not higher is because they take breaks, and fail sometimes."

The funny thing is that on the comments, people where offering captcha solving even at $2 -$3 per 1000 CAPTCHAs.