Amazon’s mechanical turk 23:30 on Saturday
When Amazon.com released Mechanical Turk I thought it was great Amazon was breathing new life into this old idea of a site where humans answer questions computers can’t answer.
I was wrong. Michael Parekh has written a great (albeit lengthy) explanation of Mechanical Turk and the implications it might have.
So what is it? Put shortly, Mechanical Turk implements humans as services for software. There is an API that software can use to request tasks to be solved by humans and the results are translated back to a form readable by the requesting software.
It’s like the assembly line for the computer age: people get paid for repetitive tasks geeks have not figured out how to automate (yet).