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Dating 2.0: Crowdsource your smalltalk

We've all seen it: that poor couple sitting in total silence, staring helplessly at their entrees while trying to think of something to say. It's awful, but it doesn't have to be, says Lauren McCarthy, an artist and programmer who is currently beta-testing a tech fix for those quiet moments during dates.

Her solution? Invite the Internet along and crowdsource your smalltalk. It's Cyrano de Bergerac for the Twitter age, and it's called Social Turkers.

Here's how it works: McCarthy sets her iPhone on the table and hits record. Instantly, she is broadcasting a video and audio stream of the date in real time. The video stream is then viewed by Amazon's Mechanical Turk users, a crowdsourcing service that allows you to post small tasks that people anywhere in the world can complete.

And as reported by Anya Kamenetz at Fast Company, during the date the "social Turkers" answer polls, write reviews of what they are seeing unfold and send text messages to McCarthy's iPhone suggesting what to say or do next.

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