Amazon Puts you to work

By | November 4, 2005

Amazon unveiled a beta version of a service that they have dubbed “Mechanical Turk“. Basically, there are certain things that computers are not that great at doing. Image recognition, visual patterns, etc…

So, somebody has to do it. A person signs up and receives “hits” which are the technical term for a “Mechanical Turk” job and is an acronym for “human intelligence task”. Depending on the “hit”, you perform the task and are paid into a account on Amazon and shortly thereafter you can move those funds into your bank account if you wish.

Of course, there are a few caveats. You do have to have an Amazon account, and you have to become “qualified” for the “hit”s. The FAQ page doesn’t seem real clear on how one becomes qualified except to say that you must request qualifications.

Sample “HIT” descriptions:

  • Requester: Amazon Requester Inc.

    HIT Expiration Date: Nov 6, 2005 (1 day 23 hours)
    Time Allotted: 60 minutes

    Reward: $0.03
    HITs Available: 614
    Description: You are presented with the name and address of a business as well as a set of photos taken along the street where the business is supposed to be located. Your task is to identify the best photo of the business that is listed.
    Keywords: A9, Blockview(tm), image
    Qualifications Required: None Contact the Requester of this HIT

  • Requester: Amazon Requester Inc.

    HIT Expiration Date: Nov 17, 2005 (1 week 6 days)
    Time Allotted: 24 hours

    Reward: $0.40
    HITs Available: 1025
    Description: Your task is to edit an existing Automotive product title to make it more human readable and update and add additional feature points about the product. This HIT will require some research to complete. Approval depends on the quality of your title and feature points, determined by a manual review.
    Keywords: automotive, auto, car, parts, product, content, title, feature
    Qualifications Required: HIT return rate (%) < 10 Contact the Requester of this HIT

It’s defenitely worth a look if your like me and have plenty of free time to waste while sitting in your cubicle filling out T.P.S reports…

Word of caution: Appearantly the site has been getting hammered(/.) so expect it to be slow and time-out once or twice before you get anywhere.

[tags]Mechanical Turk, Amazon, HIT[/tags]