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Amazon wants you!

This kind of captured my imagination. Amazon has launched Mechanical Turk that lets you make money by doing jobs that humans do better than computers.

The pay is not exactly handsome in fact some would call paying 30 cents for an approved image selection and 75 for writing a product description on little on the cheap side. Then add the fact that you get credit in their store and not cash and Amazon will have found themselves a very inexpensive work force if this Mechanical Turk succeeds.

And I have a feeling it will. Whilst an hourly wage of less than 5 dollars probably wouldn't impress many round these parts there are people in the world who would consider that a good pay for easy work. You do off course rely on broadband and a responsive server (it's quite slow now) to really make any money. These resources will eventually find its way to such areas effectively allowing Amazon and others to outsource with no need for infrastructure abroad.

I wonder if they are inspired by the Chinese farmers of MMORPGs or it is Google's page rank, but it seems that companies that harvest the power of collective intelligence are doing very well for themselves these days. I recently read Emergence by Steven Johnson, which I would recommend for those of you who are interested in such things. In any case the Mechanical Turk is bound to stir up some attention and debate. Amazon most likely knew this and it just makes their decision to name the project after a famous hoax even more amusing.


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