Making Mad Pennies On The Internet

Listen up people, humans still totally rule! While artificial intelligence is getting more advanced, humans can still out think a machine. Computers can be programmed to recognize and react to information but they are just no good at certain simple tasks, such as identifying objects in photographs.

That's where Amazon's Mechanical Turk. It is a web-based service that offers real, live human beings to get paid for performing simple, mostly repetitive tasks. These tasks are called HITs (stands for Human Intelligence Task). The amount you earn per HIT is usually only a few cents but only take a few seconds. So there is actually the potential to earn a living off of this thing.

I first heard about Mechanical Turk from an art project by Aaron Koblin a grad student at UCLAs Design/Media Arts program. The project, called The Sheep Market (see image above) utilized Mech. Turk, paying people 2¢ for every picture of a sheep that someone drew. In the end 10,000 sheep sketches filled the wall of a gallery.


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