Toloka Launches Data Research Grants, Announces First Eight Recipients
Sept. 1, 2021 — Toloka, a crowdsourced platform generating machine learning data at scale, announces its first grant recipients, after launching a program that seeks to enable scientists to gain access to high-quality data by tapping into the power of crowdsourcing.
The Toloka Research Grants Program, launched in April 2021, awarded its first eight grant recipients as much as $500 each to use towards collecting data on the Toloka crowdsourcing platform to further their respective areas of research. Toloka maintains an on-demand crowdforce of 200,000 monthly active users, called Tolokers, who are always available to help with a wide range of tasks — from simple image labeling to complex opinion-based surveys.
The grant recipients were chosen from dozens of applicants from around the world. They are conducting research in the United States, Nigeria, Finland, and Russia, in diverse areas, including Artificial Intelligence, Behavioural Research and Crowdsourcing, and plan to leverage the power of Toloka’s platform in their work. Four of the eight recipients are profiled below:
- Saiph Savage, Assistant Professor at Northeastern University in the Khoury College of Computer Sciences in the United States, is one of the grant recipients and the Director of the Northeastern Civic A.I. Lab. Her research lab creates intelligent civic technology to organize collective action for real world change. Saiph is aiming to study different AI-based interfaces that can coach novice workers to advance their skills and become more effective.
- Umar Adam Ibrahim, a PhD student at Nile University of Nigeria in Abuja, is another Toloka grant recipient. He is using this opportunity for his dissertation work in Automatic Speech Recognition, as he aims to build a Speech Recognition System for Hausa, one of the most widely spoken languages in Africa.
- Tuomo Hiippala, at Helsinki University in Finland, is using his grant to support his upcoming three-year research project, which will use crowdsourcing methods to create large, reliable and reproducible datasets for studying the multimodality of human communication.
- Philipp Chapkovskiy, at the Higher School of Economics in Russia, is conducting his research at the International Laboratory for Experimental and Behavioural Economics. He plans to run a study to investigate how strategic ignorance interacts with in-group bias with respect to different attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccinations.
Crowdsourcing is already used by cutting-edge tech companies and R&D powerhouses around the world, including NASA. Toloka currently teaches a course on Practical Crowdsourcing for Efficient Machine Learning, available on the Coursera platform to anyone with access to the internet.
The Toloka Research Grants Program aims to further advance the use of crowdsourcing for obtaining research data, as it supports the academic and nonprofit research communities. The program is open to students, post-docs, faculty members, and researchers from nonprofit organizations, looking to collect data for research purposes. The grants are awarded twice a month with the next application window closing on 30 September 2021.
To find out more information about the Toloka Research Grants Program and its recipients, or to apply for the grant yourself, please follow the link: https://toloka.ai/academy/grants.
Established in 2014 and headquartered in Austin, TX, Toloka AI is a global data labeling company servicing the needs of approximately 2,000 large and small businesses worldwide, and growing. Toloka helps its customers generate machine learning data at scale by harnessing the wisdom of the crowd from around the world. Toloka is used by organizations in e-commerce, R&D, banking, autonomous vehicles, web services, and more. Toloka relies on a geographically diverse crowd of several million registered users – 200,000 of which are active monthly, on average. The company is incorporated in Switzerland and has its global headquarters in the US.