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Amazon lets people help computers -- and get paid

Network-Centric Services: Amazon Mechanical Turk

This is unbelievable! Amazon just launched a network-centric work service! The last several years we have been pitching the ideas and conceppts behind "packetizing" work of campaigns and advocacy to no reponse in the political and nonprofit sector.

Today, we build complex software applications based on the things computers do well, such as storing and retrieving large amounts of information or rapidly performing calculations. However, humans still significantly outperform the most powerful computers at completing such simple tasks as identifying objects in photographs – something children can do even before they learn to speak.

Amazon Mechanical Turk provides a web services API for computers to integrate Artificial Artificial Intelligence directly into their processing by making requests of humans. Developers use the Amazon Mechanical Turk web services API to submit tasks to the Amazon Mechanical Turk web site, approve completed tasks, and incorporate the answers into their software applications. To the application, the transaction looks very much like any remote procedure call - the application sends the request, and the service returns the results. In reality, a network of humans fuels this Artificial Artificial Intelligence by coming to the web site, searching for and completing tasks, and receiving payment for their work.

Time to rock and roll. the race is on!