Amazon Mechanical Turk

Posted on Fri 11 April 2008 in Dispatches • 1 min read

I had skimmed over descriptions of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, which is actually a people powered research system, but this is the first time I’ve given it a good look. You can submit HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks, i.e. research, judgment, review) and anyone else can take on those tasks for a monetary reward.

The monetary reward is only a few cents per task (varies by HIT), which is great for people hiring the researches, but while HITs tend to be simple, that’s really a small amount of money, so I’m wondering who will take the time to do all this work. That being said, there are probably enough bored people on the Internet to accomodate these requests.

Regardless, it’s an interesting model and I’m curious how it will pan out.