Nicolas Kokkalis : 2013 Mobile and Social Workshop


Thursday, April 18, 2013
Location: Fisher Conference Center, Arrillaga Alumni Center

"EmailValet: Managing Email Overload through Private, Accountable Crowdsourcing"


This work introduces privacy and accountability techniques for crowd-powered systems. We focus on email task management: tasks are an implicit part of every inbox, but the overwhelming volume of incoming email can bury important requests. We present EmailValet, an email client that recruits remote assistants from an expert crowdsourcing marketplace. By annotating each email with its implicit tasks, EmailValet's assistants create a task list that is automatically populated from emails in the user's inbox. The system is an example of a valet approach to crowdsourcing, which aims for parsimony and transparency in access control for the crowd. To maintain privacy, users specify rules that define a sliding-window subset of their inbox that they are willing to share with assistants. To support accountability, EmailValet displays the actions that the assistant has taken on each email. In a weeklong field study, participants completed twice as many of their email-based tasks when they had access to crowdsourced assistants, and they became increasingly comfortable sharing their inbox with assistants over time.


Nicolas Kokkalis bio can be found at