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Amazon's Mechanical Turk

? Amazon Ups the Stakes in Online Books |


| Yours, Mine & Ours? ?

November 04, 2005

Amazon's Mechanical Turk

Rob Hof is quietly testing another interesting innovation, this time tapping into the Power of Us. The cheeky geeks there call it the Mechanical Turk, after an 18th century hoax, a mannequin that appeared to play chess. Visit the site, and you can complete little tasks offered up by Amazon and potentially its partners and get paid a few cents for them. For example, you can click on a request to decide which of several photos in a Yellow Pages listing on Amazon's A9 search site best illustrates that particular business. Then you get 3 cents added to your Amazon account, where you can transfer it to your checking account.

You sure won't get rich doing this, but it could have great potential for tapping into the wisdom of crowds for things like photo selection or product descriptions that just can't be automated. Commenters at explore some of the implications, some calling it slave labor and others saying they find it strangely addictive. Said one: "It's so lame, and yet, I can't stop doing it! AAAAHHHHH!!!" Amazon may be onto something here.

10:29 AM, Power of Us, Web 2.0

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? Mechanical Turk can?? solve everything from The Funk Stop

I like it when I see Web 1.0 companies rollout new and innovative services. Last week, Amazon launched a new service, Mechanical Turk. According to their about pages, Amazon?? Mechanical Turk ??olves the problem of building applications ... [Read More]

Tracked on November 10, 2005 01:09 AM

The choice of the name is culturally incentive and please read why.

Posted by: Honor Gunday at November 6, 2005 06:26 PM

yeah, do it. if you can log on. I tried it. about an hours worth of minimal brain function has earned me almost $2. can you believe it. Not only that the site is convenient to use, annoyingly underequipped and so easy to use even a retard such as myself could navigate it. The volume of hits (Not HITS) it will receive is undercut by the quantity of work it could possibly provide. A brilliant innovation, about 1.5 years too early.

Posted by: b dogg at November 11, 2005 08:06 AM

I was needing a little extra Chump change, what i got was what is almost equivalent to a 9 dollars an hour full time job! This is the best thing to come from the internet since the Jpeg!

Posted by: Travis at November 11, 2005 06:14 PM


Mechanical Turk has transferred account control to Amazon proper. In doing so they managed to dredge up an old account and wipe out hundreds of HITs I had done and accepted.

Trust factor < Zero.

What the hell were they thinking? Did MTurk just rip off hundreds or thousands of people?

Posted by: AMT at November 18, 2005 05:51 PM

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