A Word Processor with a Crowd Inside
Soylent is a crowd-powered interface: one that embeds workers from Mechanical Turk into Microsoft Word.

Today's user interfaces are limited: they only support tasks when we know how to write matching algorithms or interface designs. Microsoft Word is good at laying out your document, but poor at understanding writing and suggesting edits to it. But, it is now feasible to embed on-demand human computation within interactive systems. Crowd workers on services like Amazon Mechanical Turk will do tasks for very small amounts of money. Soylent is a word processor with a crowd inside: an add-in to Microsoft Word that uses crowd contributions to perform interactive document shortening, proofreading, and human-language macros. Underlying Soylent is a new programming design pattern called Find-Fix-Verify that splits tasks into a series of generation and review stages to control costs and increase quality.

Soylent PDF: image by EJeffson

Bernstein, M., Little, G., Miller, R.C., Hartmann, B., Ackerman, M., Karger, D.R., Crowell, D., and Panovich, K.
Soylent: A Word Processor with a Crowd Inside. In Proc. UIST 2010. ACM Press. Best Student Paper award.

Soylent is available open-source under the MIT license, and is hosted on Google Code. Contact us at soylent@csail.mit.edu.

Press for the project: Harvard's Nieman
Journalism Lab