Employed by Robots: Amazon Mechanical Turk

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Usally, computers and humans are different. A computer can calculate while a human can justify the calculation in a way a computer can’t. So what if we mix the two? That’s the idea behind Amazon’s new Mechanical Turk. Typically, you are given a HIT (human intelligence task), a specific task that a computer can’t do on its own and the owner of the task is supposedly paying you to complete it. You accept this job and do it (it might be anything like "is there a pizza parlour in this picture" to things more complicated)  then submit the HIT. Once it’s approved by the person who listed the HIT, congrats — you’ve just made some money and made Amazon 10% of it.

I have to say: I love this idea. It might sound like an everyone gets rich scheme, but it’s actually evolving the world in a manner it hasn’t before. Robots and humans are working together. Plus the fact that APIs are included in this is simply tremendous. I don’t know how many people will actually make a good sum of money with this (I guess though if you complete 20 tasks in one hour ranging from $0.30 to $3.60 that could be as good as an hourly wage) but I am sure it will last.


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