Thursday, January 28, 2010

Artificial artificial intelligence: Mechanical turks get creative





Until real artificial intelligence hits the scene, there is always artificial artificial intelligence.  In 2005, amazon launched mechanical turk, a website (with a pretty cool name) that allows workers and employers to create a global marketplace for those simple online tasks that stump even the smartest web crawlers.  Amazon calls these tasks "HITs" (human intelligence tasks) and links those that are willing to complete them with those who are willing to pay.

Even if amazon's HIT market hasn't been a runaway success (and has been criticized as a virtual sweatshop) it makes for some pretty interesting possibilities.  Quarter stories, created by new media guru Phil Lamplugh, is a series of stories written by mechanical turks who are paid 25 cents to find inspiration in a photo from Lamplugh's life.

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