Artificial Artificial Intelligence

Posted on Sun 06 November 2005
Wow, Amazon just invented Artificial Artificial Intelligence, which they name the Mechanical Turk, a reference to a well-know hoax of the 18th century.

The idea is to integrate humans in business processes, for tasks that humans can easily to but that are still difficult to computers, such as image or text analysis, or even text writing.

On the one end, people get paid to complete HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks) which they can choose using a search engine. Some of these tasks need prior qualification of people, either through automated questionnaires or people evaluation (another HIT).

On the other end, requesters submint their tasks using a webservice ( wsdl), just like they would do for any other element of a business process. The difference is that the webservice call describes the HIT and says how much people will get paid for it.

The business model? Simple: Amazon collects 10% on top of what requesters pay to those that complete the HITs.

How long will it take for programs that answer simple HITs to appear? It could also be used by spammers to solve CAPTCHAs, but I'm not sure they'll be willing to pay. Also, will some people be able to make a living by answering HITs all day long, especially in low-revenue countries?

Integrating a cluster of humans in automated business processes. Enter the Matrix...

Ajax: beware of crap

Aflax: Wow!