Estimating Conversational Styles in Conversational Microtask Crowdsourcing

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Abstract

Crowdsourcing marketplaces have provided a large number of opportunities for online workers to earn a living. To improve satisfaction and engagement of such workers, who are vital for the sustainability of the marketplaces, recent works have used conversational interfaces to support the execution of a variety of crowdsourcing tasks. The rationale behind using conversational interfaces stems from the potential engagement that conversation can stimulate. Prior works in psychology have also shown that ‘conversational styles’ can play an important role in communication. There are unexplored opportunities to estimate a worker’s conversational style with an end goal of improving worker satisfaction, engagement and quality. Addressing this knowledge gap, we investigate the role of conversational styles in conversational microtask crowdsourcing. To this end, we design a conversational interface which supports task execution, and we propose methods to
estimate the conversational style of a worker. Our experimental setup was designed to empirically observe how conversational styles of workers relate with quality-related outcomes. Results show that even a naive supervised classifier can predict the conversation style with high accuracy (80%), and crowd workers with an Involvement conversational style provided a significantly higher output quality, exhibited a higher user engagement and perceived less cognitive task load in comparison to their counterparts. Our findings have important implications on task design with respect to improving worker performance and their engagement in microtask crowdsourcing.