Doing Micro-tasks in Your Social Media Feed Might Be the Future of White-Collar Work

Last year, the nerds at Microsoft Research tried something different: They put bits of office work into the your Facebook news feed.

The researchers created an AI app that looked through documents you were writing in Microsoft Word. It extracted simple editing tasks, like making a sentence less wordy. Then, using a Chrome plug-in, the software would slot these jobs into an item in your feed, one every 2,000 pixels.

The researchers gave the tool to a test group, who began duly doing the little work tasks, a few each day, when they saw them while scrolling through Facebook. Every time they finished one, the AI would automatically insert it back into the proper Word file.

It might seem kind of nuts to work that way, yes? But the subjects said they oddly enjoyed these microtasks. They said it made them feel more productive: “It’s like chipping away at the document,” one noted. “It was normally time I would be wasting.”

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