November 05, 2005

Amazon Mechanical Turk "HIT stands for Human Intelligence Task. These are tasks that people are willing to pay you to complete. For example a HIT might ask: "Is there a pizza parlour in this photograph?" Typically these tasks are extraordinarily difficult for computers, but simple for humans to answer." Amazon's selling people!
  • I'd love to try this, if only I were actually able to find any "HITs" that loaded without an error telling me to try again, try again, try again, try again...
  • >a HIT might ask: "Is there a pizza parlour in this photograph?" Yeah, but why does anybody want to pay you to determine whether there's a pizza parlor in this photograph? You know how some online transactions now require you to prove that you're a person by correctly reading warped letters? To perform, that is, a Human Intelligence Task? Maybe I'm just feeling lonesome 'cause I've been away from my tinfoil hat for too long, but something about this says 'big scam' to me.
  • What happens if you answer them all wrong? Not that I would be so dastardly. Heh heh.
  • they verify your answer before paying you apparently... I was wondering about the inverse- what if you do the work and they don't pay you?
  • "select the best photo of the ones available..." Now, that's a very good example of things a human brian can do easily, beating a program. At the same time, the 'best' photo may be a very relative concept from one human to another. I've heard of spammers paying people to decipher those twisted letter images in order to get free email accounts. They get access to some porn site in exchange.
  • Who verifies your proposed answers? A human? Why wouldn't that human just make the simple photo determination for themselves? If a machine can verify your answer, then why was a human needed to make it in the first place? This doesn't make sense.
  • See? There IS something sinister about this! Mark my words- there's a'gonna be a RECKONIN'.
  • For the photo stuff, I would imagine that it would be for their maps stuff which has user submitted pictures of areas or the stuf on where they have "submit your picture of the product." So they will pay someone a penny or two to pick the best pcitures rather than hinring people full time, giving them benefits, insurance, time off, overtime, and all that stuff a regular job owuld offer.
  • Well, if somebody paid me to do something akin to keep clicking on 'Am I Hot or Not?', I'd join.
  • Danielo, I would suspect that they would ask the same question to 3 or 5 humans, and take the 'best' answer. If one respondant is less likely to give the 'correct' answer, they might get a real human (one of their own) to check on their answers, or ask them specific questions where there is a real answer (is there a ball in this photo). It allows them to weed out fakes and reduces the personal nature of the answers.
  • Looks like it's 404'ing... I had 17 HITs pending since last night, so maybe they're pulling the service? It was getting hammered a bit...