Google's Crowdsource app lets you do its translation chores

Ever read about Tom Sawyer and the fence that needs to be whitewashed? Go ahead and Google it up for a while, because Google has a proposition for ya. Ever dreamed of experiencing the joys of translating words and phrases from one language or another? Or ever wished you could be like those smart AI's and transcribe handwritten scribbles into machine readable plain text? Well, you're in luck! Google, in its magnanimous wisdom, has launched a crowdsourcing app ingeniously called "Crowdsource" that gives you a foretaste of those delectable tasks. In exchange for your few precious seconds, you get to walk away a light and joyful heart , knowing how you've made the world a better place.

Sarcasm aside, Google's Crowdsource app is really just that. It is practically a laundry list of menial tasks for Google Translate, be it translating one word between languages or, for those that only know one language, typing down words from pictures or, worse, handwritten text.

Unlike Google's own Opinion Rewards or other crowdsourcing programs, the reward is the task itself. As the app description itself says "Everytime you use it, you know that you've made the internet a better place for your community." Each task usually only takes 5 to 10 seconds, so shouldn't really take up much of your time. Google recommends doing the "microtasks" while waiting in line or during "dead" moments. Like maybe that period of silence with your date.

The apps seems to be striking a chord with some but also hitting a nerve with others. Most of the negativity stems from the lack of any reward system in place other than a general good feeling. Perhaps Google didn't think a reward was necessary given you're not supposed to spend so much time and effort on it.

Google is, of course, also banking on the charity of users who do feel like giving back for some services that they have been using for free (targeted ads aside) and who may have also benefited from unpaid and freely given contributions of volunteers at one point or another. It's not like Google is twisting their arm about it anyway.