Do you know what an Amazon mechanical turk is?

Amazon provide a service called Mechanical turk, it's a crowdsourcing internet marketplace which enables individuals or companies (requesters) to place requests for tasks that computers cannot currently do and for workers (providers) to complete those tasks.

Originally setup as an internal service to identify duplicate web pages on it went public in 2005.

Some examples of over 200,000 tasks currently available are;

Audio transcription

Describing images

Searching for digital version of old manuscripts

Coming up with slogans for T-Shirts

Counting the number of petrol stations in a satellite image!

Copying text from business cards

Answering questionnaires

Labelling objects in a photo

These HITs or Human Intelligence Tasks pay anywhere from 1 cent per task to currently around 57 US dollars for transcribing and tagging video.

I understand that unless you have a US bank account, payment is in Amazon gift vouchers. As Christmas is fast approaching in these austere times, it might be worth a look, especially if you have a specific online skills. Or it might just be a voluntary digital sweat shop! Who knows?

Are you a Turker?

"an Amazon mechanical turk" I thought it was an electrical device to use in the jungle to relieve yourself. but then I noticed that I've got at least one letter wrong!!