I did some work a long time ago with Amazon Web Services; I gave them an email address and they periodically send me newsletters about their web services. The most recent one contained a link to an article about a new service: Amazon Mechanical Turk. This service provides ‘Artificial Artificial Intelligence’ and lets developers place tasks in front of humans in a scalable, standardized manner. Amazon, with their infrastructure, makes sure that the task is completed and pays the human who completes the task. Right now, I only saw one set of tasks, sponsored by Amazon, so I’m not sure of the uptake. But this is certainly an fascinating idea–an interesting inverse of the normal computer/human relationship.


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