Amazon Opens Mechanical Turk Crowdsourcing for Noncoders
Amazon Web Services offers a Web-based editing tool for its Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing marketplace that makes it easier for nonprogrammers to create tasks for others to work on together. Even as Turk is fading, businesses are leveraging Amazon's EC2, S3 and other cloud computing tools to give developers platforms to launch Web-based apps. This has spawned a nation of startups, including Bungee Labs, Etelos and Coghead.Amazon Web Services, the Amazon.com unit that popularized Internet-based computing with its Elastic Compute Cloud and Simple Storage Service offerings, is making its application development marketplace available to nonprogrammers.
Today, business users with no coding skills can use a new Web-based editor in Mechanical Turk, the popular site that lets users create a task online and turn it over to someone else to complete.
Before today, businesses with no programmers (or at least none to spare on things like Mechanical Turk) had to manually enter and retrieve each HIT (Human Intelligence Task), if they even could use Mechanical Turk at all.
HITs include such chores as identifying objects in a photo, transcribing audio recordings, or just researching some data. AWS views HITs as examples of artificial, artificial intelligence, because they let humans do work that computers can't. Now users can leverage HITs and monitor them without writing a single line of code. AWS is offering sample templates to help Mechanical Turk users, also known as "requesters," who want to get work done (and get paid for doing it).
The templates help determine how the HIT will look, as well as payment terms and requirements for "workers," or those who are looking to get paid by working on the HIT. Some templates include image tagging, search relevance, data collection and extraction, content filtering, and product definitions.
Regardless, give Turk its credit. Like its Web 2.0 brother and sister applications, including blogs, wikis and RSS feeds, Turk has fostered a wave of collaborative crowdsourcing apps that leverage the interminable reach of the Internet.
And even as Turk is fading, businesses are leveraging AWS's EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud), S3 (Simple Storage Service) and other cloud computing tools to give developers platforms to launch Web-based apps. This has spawned a nation of startups, including Bungee Labs, Etelos and Coghead.