Gesticulate for Health’s Sake! Understanding the Use of Gestures as an Input Modality for Microtask Crowdsourcing


  • Garrett Allen Delft University of Technology
  • Andrea Hu Delft University of Technology
  • Ujwal Gadiraju Delft University of Technology



Crowdsourcing, Input Modality, Microtasks, Ergonomics, Worker Health


Human input is pivotal in building reliable and robust artificial intelligence systems. By providing a means to gather diverse, high-quality, representative, and cost-effective human input on demand, microtask crowdsourcing marketplaces have thrived. Despite the unmistakable benefits available from online crowd work, the lack of health provisions and safeguards, along with existing work practices threatens the sustainability of this paradigm. Prior work has investigated worker engagement and mental health, yet no such investigations into the effects of crowd work on the physical health of workers have been undertaken. Crowd workers complete their work in various sub-optimal work environments, often using a conventional input modality of a mouse and keyboard. The repetitive nature of microtask crowdsourcing can lead to stress-related injuries, such as the well-documented carpal tunnel syndrome. It is known that stretching exercises can help reduce injuries and discomfort in office workers. Gestures, the act of using the body intentionally to affect the behavior of an intelligent system, can serve as both stretches and an alternative form of input for microtasks. To better understand the usefulness of the dual-purpose input modality of ergonomically-informed gestures across different crowdsourced microtasks, we carried out a controlled 2 x 3 between-subjects study (N=294). Considering the potential benefits of gestures as an input modality, our results suggest a real trade-off between worker accuracy in exchange for potential short to long-term health benefits.




How to Cite

Allen, G., Hu, A., & Gadiraju, U. (2022). Gesticulate for Health’s Sake! Understanding the Use of Gestures as an Input Modality for Microtask Crowdsourcing. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Human Computation and Crowdsourcing, 10(1), 14-26.